On behalf of the Mayor of the City of Jackson:
The City of Jackson is offering organizations throughout the region an unprecedented effort to mitigate and end homelessness. This project will play a vital role in our community reaching “Functional Zero.” “Functional zero is a milestone, which must be sustained, that indicates a community has measurably solved homelessness for a population. When it’s achieved, homelessness is rare and brief for that population.” (Built for Zero). Functional Zero means that the same number of those entering homelessness exit homelessness that month. In order to reach this goal – we need your help in identifying gaps. Once those gaps are identified we will strategically request assistance from local and regional resources.
The City of Jackson has the highest number of individuals experiencing homelessness in the state! According to the Central MS CoC’s 2023 PIT Count, 67 of the 93 experiencing unsheltered homelessness were located in Metro Jackson area. The entire country is experiencing a housing crisis, causing families to experience housing instability and even homelessness. The lack of affordable housing and higher unemployment rates are linked to greater rates of homelessness. The Pandemic has exacerbated the situation, increasing the number of those experiencing homelessness and making it more difficult to safely house them. The defunding of mental health initiatives contributes to the overall increase of homelessness. Based on the data from the 2023 PIT Count mentioned above, 22 of the 93 experiencing unsheltered homelessness acknowledged they had a mental health disorder. Additionally, many released from institutional settings, such as prison, hospitals, etc., do not receive ongoing case management which in some cases has led to their being released into homelessness or unsustainable housing.
Please take the time to complete a short survey that will be used to collect basic information pertaining to Why and What is stopping us from reaching “Functional Zero”. This information will be utilized to garner addition Federal, State and local resources to fill the gap and maximize targeted strategies to end homelessness in the City of Jackson. Need more information – contact the Planning Department for the City of Jackson Homeless Coordinator, Fredric Brandon at 769.209.3390. Survey can be located at https://jacksonms.viewpointcloud.com/categories/1098