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Orange County Combats Homelessness


Homelessness has become a major issue in Central Florida.

In 2014 Orange County reported there were 6,700 homeless students attending Orange County Public Schools.

It is estimated that over 75,000 individuals are homeless in Florida while 10,000 of those individuals are in Central Florida.

What is homelessness?

The definition of homelessness depends on the organization using the term. According to Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act a homeless person is an individual without permanent housing who may live on the streets; stay in a shelter, mission, single room occupancy facilities, abandoned building or vehicle; or in any other unstable or non-permanent situation.

Representative_Bryan_NelsonAccording to County Commissioner Bryan Nelson, Orange County is working diligently to combat homelessness. Several organizations are coordinating thier efforts including the Orange County Committee on Homelessness, the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness and Orange County.

Orange County plans to invest $7,679,605 into combating homelessness head on.

According to a 2014 report culminated by the Commission, the average expense for a chronically homeless individual in the community is $31,000 while it would only cost about $10,000 per person who is chronically homeless to receive permanent housing and case management services. While the cost of living, renting and homeownership is on the rise, Orange County is dedicated to expanding affordable housing programs as well as homelessness prevention programs, and rapid re-housing programs. Also, Orange County partners with local organizations such as the Samaritan Resource Center which has rendered over 42,000 services since 2014.

One of the Orange County programs is the New Horizon Project (previously known as Hawthorne Village). This site will be located on the corner of 14th Street and Washington Avenue in South Apopka, FL. This site has been approved for 56 homes which will be built by Habitat for Humanity of Greater Orlando and Habitat for Humanity Seminole-Apopka.

The Habitat for Humanity program focuses on building very affordable homes for low or very-low income households. Applicants will need to have a stable income and be willing to invest sweat equity through volunteering with Habitat for Humanity.



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