The Central Florida Commission on Homelessness and area leaders are announcing their “The Welcome Home Project” that will provide housing for 129 chronically-homeless individuals for at least the next six months.

The project ties participating landlords and money for move-in costs to provide assisted housing in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties for a program that will run through at least the end of March.

Starting Tuesday, the project will provide housing for 94 individuals in Orange, 22 in Seminole and 13 in Osceola counties. Also, the program will provide case management and wraparound services to assist the individuals in getting back into self-supporting situations.

The project is piloting a new strategy, with the partners soliciting landlords. The city of Orlando has provided a $500 incentive to landlords who house clients from Orlando and Orange County. An additional $500 is available after the tenant stays continuously housed over the next six months.

The second focus of The Welcome Home Project will be crowdfunding the $2,500-per-indivual necessary to cover move-in costs including furnishings, utility deposits, and pest control once suitable housing has been identified.

“This is a broad, community-based effort,” stated Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.

Joining Dyer are Kissimmee Mayor Jose Alvarez, Sanford Mayor Jeff Triplett, Commission on Homelessness Chair-Elect David Swanson, Homeless Services Network of Central Florida Executive Director Martha Are, and Florida Hospital Vice President of Public Affairs Mike Griffin in rolling out the program during a news conference at Orlando City Hall Tuesday.

“Mayor Alvarez, Mayor Triplett, and I, as mayors of the largest cities in each of Central Florida’s three counties, stand united in our resolve to find homes for our most vulnerable community members,” Dyer added. “They cannot afford to wait any longer for a safe place to sleep every night.”

About The Author

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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