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WHY is Be-COS Needed?

Why the Need for the Be-COS Program

In the State of Florida there are 57,687 people homeless on any given night and for Hillsborough County that number is over 17,000 men, women, and children on any given night. They come from a variety of educational, socio-economic, cultural and experiential backgrounds. The Homeless Coalition of Hillsborough County (2011) reports that: 17% of these totals are veterans and 23% are children. 81% do not have drug and alcohol addiction and 63% do not suffer from mental illness. 38% have a physical disability. 40% have some kind of income be it Social Security Disability or some other source. 25% are employed. The Office of Homeless Veterans of the VA reports that there are over 1,500 homeless veterans in Hillsborough County. The Hillsborough County Homeless Coalition reports that there is no single cause of homelessness, but that the biggest contributing factor to the rising number of homeless people is the shortage of affordable housing for people with limited or low incomes. In Hillsborough County there are 24 identified agencies which serve the homeless in a variety of capacities, but none of these programs currently offers a holistic program which is geared to not only meeting the survival needs of food, clothing and shelter but also providing vocational training and support, counseling and rehabilitation services and services to help rekindle the ability to savor life in a positive way. It is for this reason that Be-COS Inc has become incorporated and has set out to develop a model program which addresses these needs.