The Florida Coalition for the Homeless (FCH) was initially formed in 1990 and declared a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization by the IRS in 1994. The mission of the Florida Coalition for the Homeless is to work collaboratively to prevent and end homelessness in Florida. In the early 2000s, board members of the Coalition traveled around the state of Florida providing technical assistance and support to emerging local Continuums of Care. They worked diligently to coach each CoC through the process of locating and organizing resources in addition to developing strong community partnerships. This crucial technical assistance served as the basis for our state’s robust Continuum of Care system today – and demonstrated FCH’s longstanding commitment to develop the local systems of care that provide direct services to homeless individuals and families every day, reflected through the annual Florida Institute on Homelessness and Supportive Housing, our advocacy efforts, data collection and tracking, and continuing collaboration with all twenty-seven CoCs throughout the state of Florida.
Since FCH’s inception, our Continuums of Care, their lead agencies, and their local providers have flourished, growing in both number and diversity. There are some rural areas where the CoCs are run by only a handful of providers and local partners and serve less than 600 homeless persons. In contrast, the Miami/Dade County Continuum of Care is operated as a homeless trust within the County government, receiving more than $30 million annually in federal, state, county, and private funding to serve a homeless population of approximately 10,000 persons. Regardless of the size and scope, FCH works with each Lead Agency and area providers to ensure that their specific needs are met and they are able to serve the homeless population in their areas to the best of their ability, and work toward the common goal of ending homelessness in Florida. As such, FCH is recognized as a leader in the industry.
What has remained consistent at FCH is our shared desire to work together to find ways to meet the needs of those without housing and bring needed resources to all of the homeless in our communities – from a family unable to pay their rent because of job loss and find themselves living in their car after being evicted– to the homeless man or woman who has been living in a camp or on the streets for years, confused and without hope because he or she is unable to obtain needed mental health assistance.