WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The City of West Palm Beach announced Friday a new tool to better assess how to help people experiencing homelessness in the city.
According to Palm Beach County’s Point in Time Count, as of January, 1,030 people were experiencing homelessness in the county. West Palm Beach Mayor, Keith James says homelessness in the city is on the rise.
“I think there’s been some increase in the numbers that we are looking at probably a combination of the pandemic and probably we’re a victim of our own success,” Mayor James said.
In February, the city announced the hiring of a Homeless Services Coordinator to bridge the gap between the homeless and resources available to help. Now they are taking it one step further with a new website that allows people to document when and where help is needed.
“Through that app you’re able to navigate and notify the city of this potential situation and that way we are better informed in how we can address someone’s situation or circumstance,” Jennifer Ferriol, Director of Housing and Community Development said.
The social services branch of the city will handle the reports and the goal is to remedy the situation and follow-up within 24 hours.
“So, police should not always be the first ones responding to a complaint about homelessness or responding to a mental health situation. So this takes one less, it cuts the police out of the response cycle and keeps them available to respond to more serious situations,” Mayor James said.
You can visit the website at https://www.wpb.org/har.