Homeless and Hunger Coalition Northwest Florida programs.

Several programs are available from Homeless and Hunger Coalition Northwest Florida, and the agency is focused on preventing homelessness in Calhoun, Gulf, Bay, Holmes, Jackson and Washington Counties. Case managers can direct families to the entire spectrum of services, ranging from emergency shelter to transitional housing. The financial aid, while more limited, while include motel vouchers or emergency assistance for overdue rent.

There are other services available as well. Some crisis support is available, and this will be items such as free food or a meal. Staff will also work with the family on ending the cycle of homelessness, and this is met through education and job support. So those are a few of the resources available.

When it comes to housing needs, the Tenant Based Rent Assistance (TBRA) or section 8 are housing voucher programs assist low income families with children and others in poverty by providing a rental subsidy that is based on their income. Other supportive services are offered to them as well.

Agencies such as Volunteers of America and public housing authorities partner with Homeless and Hunger Coalition to provide supportive services to the households. They also process applications. Some of the services include ongoing case management, life skills classes, and job training programs. Medical issues can be met too, such as for people with a mental illness or chemical dependency. Once the client finishes the plan, they receive a tenant-based voucher to pay for a portion of their rent and can move to market-rate housing in the Northwest Florida region, such as Bay County.

One time, temporary rent or mortgage assistance can be provided. For those seeking any type of financial assistance from the Homeless and Hunger Coalition, a copy of the lease agreement or mortgage documents are required. Any aid is limited, and the client needs to prove they have tried to find some other solution.

They need to have tried a payment plan or negotiated some other type of solution first. Other rules apply for tenants who are in court over legal issues. Those who receive state of Florida provided temporary rental assistance or Section 8 funding do not qualify.

When shelters are full, Emergency Motel Vouchers may be used. This is available from a few local charities, and they may have a small amount of dollars to provide very short term lodging to the homeless in NW Florida that are facing a one time crisis. The lodging is at at area motels. The vouchers, when available are very limited.




Home Rehabilitation will try to provide improvements related to roofing, furnace and plumbing as well as many others. Any work done is in an effort to meet standards set by the local housing authorities. In general, home rehabilitation consists of a loan being issued to the owner, which must be repaid. In some cases, there will be Emergency Repairs done by volunteers to prevent a threat to health or safety.

Food and other support from Homeless and Hunger Coalition

Pantries are in the region, as well as government resources such as Commodity Supplemental Food. CSFP is a monthly distribution of groceries and food items that helps meet the nutritional needs of children or seniors aged 60 and over. There is also assistance from Homeless and Hunger Coalition in Northwest Florida for those who are ineligible for the Women, Infants and Children program, or WIC.

CSFP can pass out free boxes of food, and this is distributed to participating facilities and to individuals by way of distribution centers throughout Bay, Calhoun, Jackson and other counties. Participating individuals need referrals from a social service office or Community Action Agency.

Another option, Emergency Food Assistance (TEFAP) is a quarterly distribution program. There are sites, such as pantries and soup kitchens, that pass out formula, meat, and meals to the working poor.

Limited emergency clothing may be issued at the pantry. Vouchers will be granted for children or job seekers in need of back-to-school clothes or school supplies. The staff at the Homeless and Hunger Coalition will also try to provide for the replacement of clothing destroyed by fire or another issue.




Education is part of self-sufficiency. The lack of this can lead to poverty. Educational attainment plays a large part of homeless in the state of Florida. Homeless and Hunger Coalition Northwest Florida is committed to assisting families become more self-sufficient and gaining a job. This can be done by assisting them in enrolling into classes.

More information on their programs can be obtained at 850-769-0783.


By Jon McNamara

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