For many in Jacksonville, the city’s homeless population is a sore subject.
Homelessness has been on the decline in Jax for a decade, but there are still over 1,600 homeless Jaxsons out there. And while Jax has far less homeless residents than most cities of its size, the strong concentration of resources in one area of the city – the urban core, specifically – brings most of those residents to that area and creates the impression of a downtown homelessness epidemic. Some feel sympathy for those affected, some feel frustration or fear in relation to them, but everyone can agree that ending homeless in Jacksonville is a strong priority.
If you’re feeling compelled to do something about the city’s homeless population – whatever your motivation may be – we’ve put together a few tips for how we can all do something to help our neighbors in need.
A few different local organizations devoted to helping the city’s homeless population offer volunteer opportunities.
At Sulzbacher Center, you can assist with tutoring, vocational services, medical services, meal prep, toddler care, and more. Changing Homelessness takes volunteers for its annual surveys of the homeless population. And Clara White Mission has a calendar of volunteering events with descriptions of what the job entails.
Volunteering your time and effort with any of these organizations is a great way to start helping people directly.