SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - The annual tracking of how many homeless people there are across the Suncoast will happen in two weeks.
Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness representatives say the numbers are down since 2016 across Manatee and Sarasota counties.
Statistics show in 2016 the Suncoast had 1,468.
In 2017: 1,447
In 2018: 1,192
Last year there were 1,135 homeless people accounted for.
Community leaders attribute the decrease of people on the streets to partnerships across the counties to help get the homeless back on their feet.
Thanks to the homeless outreach team in Sarasota a couple was now has a home.
The recipient says it’s a gift of a lifetime.
She tells me it’s also scary to know so many people are counting on her to succeed.
Angelique Agustin was on the streets for nearly three years. She started 2020 with a roof over her head and says now the sky is the limit.
Opening the door to a new normal.
“It’s like everything is falling into place,” said new homeowner, Angelique Agustin.
Cooking a meal in your own kitchen is something you might not think twice about.
But it’s something people like Angelique are grateful for especially under a roof she can now call her own.
“A lot of tears, a lot of tears of joy,” said Agustin. Her fiancée and her started the year with a home all thanks to the Homeless Outreach team in Sarasota.
“It literally takes an entire village,” said Homeless Outreach Team case manager in Sarasota, Krystal Frazier.
A community of people on a mission to end homelessness.
“It’s not just a Sarasota Police Department issue, it’s not a city of Sarasota issue, it’s a community wide issue,” said Sarasota Police Department Homeless Outreach Team Sgt. Jaymi Delcos.
Boots on the pavement to connect with the homeless in order to assess how they can help them. “It’s so amazing to see people who go from not having anything to look forward to, to having everything to look forward to,” said Frazier.
“Now I can work on my goals,” said Agustin.
Agustin says thanks to people like Krystal she was able to connect with the right people and get back on her feet.
She says she had to pay $153 to get her home keys but the rest of the costs were covered by different community groups.
Her and her fiancee Scott also received free furniture from Streets of Paradise.
Agustin is grateful and hopes to help others in the same situation one day.