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How Many Homeless Young People Live In Miami-Dade County?

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Wilson Sayre
/
WLRN
Miami-Dade is trying to get an accurate count of the number of homeless young people living in the county.

Once again Miami-Dade County is asking - how many homeless kids are living here?

Last year there were 112 counted young homeless people living in Miami-Dade County. “Counted,” being the operant term, because it’s tough to get an accurate number of those under the age of 24 who are homeless through self-reporting, for the most part.

Many are living with friends or distant relatives - what’s called “doubled up” - and don’t necessarily consider themselves homeless, according to social workers who work with this population.

But for the past few years,  the county has been honing in on how it get a more accurate number through a census called the iCount.

“It’s so important,” says Dorcas Wilcox, of Miami Bridge, an emergency shelter for young people. “Particularly from a financial standpoint that we know how many children are out there so that we can appropriately solicit and talk to those who provide funds.”

Wilcox says having those numbers when talking to legislators in particular is key.

Until Sunday, the school system, Homeless Trust and service providers are asking young homeless people to fill out an anonymous online survey if they are in one of these  unstable living situations.