One of Orange County Government’s most important budget functions is to invest in all aspects of the local community to enhance the quality of life for residents. Mayor Jerry L. Demings has made his priorities clear when it comes to his “Four Pillars” of government focus, which include Housing and Urban Development, Mental Health, Children-Related Programs, and Human Services/Public Assistance. The FY 2023-24 budget addresses these areas, as well as all others that fall under the County’s purview.
Here is a budget breakdown of the Four Pillars:
Housing and Urban Development: Total FY 2023-24 Budget – $136,252,595
Affordable Housing Trust Fund – $53.5 million
Section 8 Funding – $22.4 million
SHIP Funding – $26.7 million
The budget allocation will go towards housing projects, including making minor repairs, roof replacement programs, rental rehabilitation to preserve affordable housing units, land development, and infrastructure improvements for housing construction. It will also aid in homeless activities, including shelter operations, rapid rehousing, and homeless prevention to eight nonprofit homeless agencies. Other beneficiaries include the HOME Investment Partnerships Program for affordable rental housing and single-family home rehabilitation services and the HOME American Rescue Plan for affordable housing development and tenant-based rental assistance.
In addition, Embrace Family Solutions, Harbor House of Central Florida, Health Care Center for the Homeless, iDignity, IMPOWER, Pathways Drop-in Center, J.U.M.P. Ministries, Seniors First, and Primrose Center will also benefit from the funding.
Mental Health: Total FY 2023-24 Budget – $34,049,408
Mental Health, Homelessness, and Behavioral Health – $24.7 million
Children’s Mental Health – $3.7 million
CIN/FINS – $3.1 million
SAMHSA Children – $1 million
The funding will make sure Orange County continues to provide mental and behavioral health services for adults and children, as well as for the homeless. It will implement recommendations from the Heart of Florida United Way Mental & Behavioral Health System of Care Community Analysis. That includes integrated and coordinated mental and behavioral health care delivery, mental health promotion, homeless prevention, transitional housing, and mental and behavioral health finances.
Orange County has a strong network of health providers and community partners, and part of the budget will assist efforts associated with Wraparound Orange, Empower Housing and Employment Program, Matthew’s Hope, Coalition for the Homeless, Samaritan Resource Center, Heart of Florida United Way, Mobile Crisis, Lifestream Behavioral Center, Embrace Families Solutions, Functional Family Therapy, Mental Health Association of Central Florida, and the Orlando United Assistance Center.
Children’s Programs: Total FY 2023-24 Budget – $59,256,108
Children’s Services Specific Funding – $34.5 million
Head Start – $18.9 million
Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten – $1.4 million
Orange County is committed to providing accessible and comprehensive programs that support the well-being of children, including childhood education and care, homeless prevention, youth mental and physical health, and juvenile intervention. The budget allocates resources to expand and improve services for early childhood development, youth empowerment, and family support.
The allocations will help a variety of community partners and programs, including the Citizen’s Commission for Children, Fixing Up the Neighborhood, Head Start, After School/Summer Programs for Boys & Girls Clubs and YMCA, Credible Messenger Program, Healthy Start Initiative, Compact Orlando/Orange, Every Kid Outreach, Friends of Children and Families, Community Coordinated Care for Children and more.
Human Services and Public Assistance: Total FY 2023-24 Budget – $237,357,428
School Impact Fees – $122.6 million
Children’s Services Specific Funding – $35.5 million
Head Start – $18.9 million
Community Action Office – $5.6 million
Crisis and Family Assistance – $5.1 million
Human Services and Public Assistance encompasses more than 500 programs and services, and Orange County works with a wide variety of community partners to ensure all residents have access to critical resources that enhance quality of life.
Just a few of the programs and community partners that will receive funding from the FY 2023-24 budget include Community Cleanup Grant, Drug Abuse Trust Fund, HIV Services and Support, Human Service Agencies, Neighborhood Pride, Neighborhood Beautification Program, Neighborhood Centers for Families, Senior Climate Efficiency Program, Americans with Disabilities Program, Commission on Aging, Community Action Office, Pine Hills Multicultural Center, Great Oaks Village, Human Trafficking Program, and Independent Living Program.