The nonprofit group running the city of Key West’s homeless shelter provided homeless outreach services to 1,461 people in 2016, including 451 men and women who live on the streets, according to a report released Sunday.
Of the clients served, 79 percent were men and the average age was 49, with one-third over age 55, said John Miller, executive director of the Southernmost Homeless Assistance League.
“Shelter Director Mike Tolbert and his staff gave a good night’s rest to 1,227 different homeless persons during the year,” Miller wrote in the January 2017 report, adding that the numbers mean more than 36,000 nights total.
The Keys Overnight Temporary Shelter, owned by the city, which contracts out the management to SHAL, averaged about 100 clients per night, with more than half of the men and women over age 55. Twenty percent of the clients were under 40.
“Using the SHAL Shelter as a temporary springboard back to self-sufficiency, over half of the shelter residents stayed for less than seven nights total for the year, and almost 90 percent averaged less than a week in each month.”
Key West’s shelter is on College Road on Stock Island next door to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. City leaders plan to relocate the shelter to another spot on College Road to settle a 2011 lawsuit by nearby condo owners, who claimed Key West built KOTS without following proper permit procedures.
Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen