Public Perceptions of the Homeless and What Needs to be Done<br />James D. Wright<br />Amy M. Donley<br />Jana L. Jasinski...
Is Homelessness a Problem in Central Florida?<br />A majority think homelessness is a major problem in Central Florida.  A...
Perceptions of the Homeless<br />Percent who say this is definitely or probably true of homeless people<br />
Changing Perceptions of the Homeless<br />One in three says their opinion has changed<br />Of those who changed, 95% have ...
Panhandling<br />48% say panhandling is a problem in our region<br />42% say it is not<br />58% believe most panhandlers a...
What is to be done?<br />
What is to be done (continued)<br />Should municipal and county governments do more to fund homeless programs?<br />Is eno...
Conclusions<br />Homelessness is a major problem, is getting worse, and not enough is being done<br />Public perceptions o...
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Public Perceptions of the Homeless And What Needs to be Done

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In July and August 2009, telephone interviewers from the UCF Institute of Social and Behavioral Sciences surveyed 483 adult residents of Orange, Osceola and Seminole Counties to determine public perceptions of the homeless in Central Florida and opinions about regional agencies that serve this population. Funding for the survey was provided by the Heart of Florida United Way, the Central Florida Commission on the Homeless, the Homeless Services Network, and the UCF Institute for Social and Behavioral Sciences.

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Public Perceptions of the Homeless And What Needs to be Done

  1. 1. Public Perceptions of the Homeless and What Needs to be Done<br />James D. Wright<br />Amy M. Donley<br />Jana L. Jasinski<br />
  2. 2. Is Homelessness a Problem in Central Florida?<br />A majority think homelessness is a major problem in Central Florida. And 90% said that nationally, the problem is getting worse.<br />
  3. 3. Perceptions of the Homeless<br />Percent who say this is definitely or probably true of homeless people<br />
  4. 4. Changing Perceptions of the Homeless<br />One in three says their opinion has changed<br />Of those who changed, 95% have become more sympathetic<br />Declining economy was the reason most people gave for becoming more sympathetic<br />40% say they know personally someone who has been homeless<br />
  5. 5. Panhandling<br />48% say panhandling is a problem in our region<br />42% say it is not<br />58% believe most panhandlers are also homeless <br />87% agree that most homeless panhandle at least occasionally<br />46% say they never give to panhandlers; 29% give something at least once a month<br />Of those who ever give, the median gift is about $2<br />
  6. 6. What is to be done?<br />
  7. 7. What is to be done (continued)<br />Should municipal and county governments do more to fund homeless programs?<br />Is enough being done to address the issue of homelessness in our community?<br />
  8. 8. Conclusions<br />Homelessness is a major problem, is getting worse, and not enough is being done<br />Public perceptions of the homeless are generally sympathetic and improving over time, despite the negative coverage of the issue in the media<br />Although panhandling is seen to be a problem and is associated in public thinking with homelessness, most people do give to panhandlers, although few do so more than a few times a year<br />We see in these data a substantial public mandate to stop talking about the problem and start doing something about it!<br />

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