At FHE Health, we understand our role in improving the lives of members of our community in South Florida, and we realize that many of the people that come to us for help may be struggling with more than just addiction or mental health disorders.
Homelessness is a problem in South Florida, especially in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. In 2018, a survey showed that there were nearly 2,400 people living in shelters or on the streets in Broward County alone.
That’s why we’ve made it our goal to make it possible for those that we treat and other members of the community to get as much support as possible outside of our facility. To achieve this, we’ve partnered with The Broward Partnership, a local non-profit fighting homelessness by providing transitional housing to those in need.
Here’s a little bit about how homelessness and addiction are inherently intertwined, and how we’re supporting the Broward Partnership in everything that they do.
Homelessness, Addiction, and Mental Health
A 2009 report from the National Coalition for the Homeless provided key findings about the links between substance abuse and homelessness. Cities were asked to provide three factors that were most impactful in the growth of the homeless population, and 68% had substance abuse in the top three.
SAMHSA reports that substance abuse and mental health disorders are extremely common in homeless populations, estimating that 30 percent of those experiencing homelessness have a mental health disorder and around two-thirds have a substance abuse disorder.
At FHE, what we take away from this, as a facility that strives to provide safe, effective treatment to those struggling with substance abuse and mental health disorders, is that helping to combat homelessness is a part of our overarching goal.
The Broward Partnership
The Broward Partnership is a local non-profit that has received recognition for its work to combat homelessness in Broward County and throughout South Florida. Recognized as an agency using best practices to fight the spread of homelessness by the Florida Department of Children & Families and the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, the Broward County Partnership takes a more comprehensive approach for its residents than traditional homeless shelters do.
The agency considers itself less of a shelter, and more of a place where homeless members of the community can transition into permanent housing while receiving crucial health and dental services, vocational training, and building life skills that make them better equipped to hold jobs and stay off the streets.
At FHE, we’re proud to support The Broward Partnership because of the type of services they provide to the homeless community in our area. They don’t just provide housing, although this is a big part of why they’re so successful: they give homeless individuals and families a comfortable place to stay while building life skills like managing a budget, building a resume, searching for a job, and finding future housing.
How Does Our Commitment Take Shape?
The alumni of FHE feel a special connection to the Broward Partnership because many of the people we treat have personal experience with homelessness and want to help others who may be struggling with something similar. In the past few years, we’ve made working with the agency a key goal of our Alumni program.
We do a meal service every month, starting in 2015 for residents of the Broward Partnership, handled by our Alumni community. We also completely renovated their garden area using funds raised with a car wash in the community.
In summary: homelessness is an issue that affects our community and many of the patients we treat at our facility. It’s in our interest, and the interest of the community to find a great organization like the Broward Partnership and offer help in any way that we can.