Broward County Vice Mayor Sharief wins approval to aid homeless

Commissioners approve $350K for purchase of web-based software application

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BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. - Broward County Commissioners say they have approved funding for technology that will help connect homeless people in the county with appropriate and necessary services to assist in getting the homeless off the streets.

The technology will also support the homeless in their efforts to become productive, independent members of society, according to commissioners.

Commissioners approved $350,000 from the Broward Sheriff's Office law enforcement trust funds on Tuesday to assist with the purchase of a Homeless Management Information System.

HMIS is a web-based software application designed to connect services to homeless persons in the community.

Commissioners said the approval was made at the request of Vice Mayor Barbara Sharief along with the commitment of Sheriff Scott Israel.

"This is true collaboration between the Broward County Commission and the sheriff to do all that we can to bring an end to homelessness and increase public safety," said Sharief.

"The HMIS project will allow us to better assess the needs of the homeless and practice public outreach to greatly increase Broward's ability to bring the homeless off the streets and into a safe environment where reintegration can begin," continued Sharief.

Agencies that are on the HMIS network will create a continuum of care that commissioners say will assess the needs of the homeless with housing options and appropriate support services.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development requires that each community designate a single information system as the official HMIS software.

Accordingly, commissioners said funding to support a HMIS system will leverage federal HUD funding for homeless services in the community.

In addition, commissioners said homelessness is often correlated with crime and, therefore, efforts to end homelessness support law enforcement efforts to create a safer community.

The approved $350,000 will fund the start-up and initial costs for the HMIS system in Broward County.

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