ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Once a month in St. Augustine, the Second Harvest mobile food pantry sets up shop at the homeless coalition. And every month, Lamar White makes sure to stop by.
"You never know what a person is like until you know their story," White remarked.
For White, a 28-year-old mom of seven, who was clutching her youngest daughter Shanell when we met her, it's a story that involves a regular fear of returning to the streets.
White used to be homeless.
"I did and I don't like it. It doesn't feel good at all," she said.
But we've learned in St. Johns County, the face of homelessness has changed, and not only that, it's growing.
"It's not the typical face of homeless that you think of, you know, the older man on the side of the street begging or panhandling," said Deborah Redding with the Homeless Coalition of St. Johns County. "We are talking about young moms."
New county numbers from a survey by the Emergency Services and Homeless Coalition of St. Johns County show a spike in homeless families and single parents. There is also a big surge in the number of homeless kids.
"If you take a look at the statistics, five years ago we had 50 homeless children in our school district. Now we have over 500," said Redding.
The thought leaves White petrified. One bad move, she says, and her family will wind up just another number on that homeless count.
"I hope never to go back there. I struggle every day to try to make ends meet just so I can keep where I am now," White said.
The Homeless Coalition says some of their biggest challenges come from the fact there is no public housing authority and not enough low-income housing in the county.
St. Johns County currently has 1,437 homeless people living there today.