For two years, Eddie Tiffany served in the U.S. Navy on board the aircraft carrier, U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln. Tiffany says there were times when it was fun. "It's back when the F-14's were around so it was pretty fun."
Then he ran into a series of legal troubles. Finding a job after that has not been easy. Finding a home of his own has also been difficult. "I was pretty much house hopping with family members and stuff."
Tiffany did not enjoy relying on family members for shelter for his wife and three children. "It was pretty tough, it was pretty tough. Especially when you've got your family members trying to tell you how to live your life and how to raise your kids."
Tiffany says he was homeless. "You can't consider yourself non-homeless if you don't have a place of your own."
This week the Homeless Coalition will be counting people like Eddie Tiffany and his family as part of a homeless survey. The survey is conducted every two years to count people living on the street, and those who are doubled up in family homes like Eddie Tiffany.
In 2011, the survey counted 17,755 homeless people living in Hillsborough County. 7,336 were living on the street. 10,419 were living doubled up with family or friends. Of those, twenty three percent were children. Thirty five percent were female.
Lesa Weikel of the Homeless Coalition of Hillsborough County says the count is important. "We get information such as age, race, do they work? Do they have income? How long have they been homeless? Were they living in our community when they became homeless the first time? We want to get all of that information so we can implement new programs to meet their needs."
This years homeless survey will take place over a twenty four hour period starting on Thursday.