Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Seminole County Commission Chairwoman Brenda Carey joined other regional leaders in Maitland Wednesday morning to discuss ways to address homelessness in Central Florida.
The Central Florida Landlord Summit to Address Homelessness is an event aimed to engage Orange, Seminole, and Osceola County landlords and is part of a continued tricounty effort to provide permanent supportive housing for the homeless.
Local officials have been focusing on homeless veterans, pledging to have all of them off the street by the end of the year. In the past, efforts to solve the regional problem have stalled.
Dyer and the city of Orlando have partnered with Orange County and private businesses for solutions, with some notable progress.
“If you would have asked me what my toughest challenge was when I took office, it would be homelessness,” Dyer told those attending. “If you’d ask me what it is now, I’d say homelessness. We have goals of ending homelessness among our veterans. It’s a moral imperative and the right thing to do.”
The initiative, propelled by the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness, will enact a “rapid re-housing” model already used in cities such as Salt Lake City and Phoenix. Re-housing aims to move the chronically homeless into more permanent housing and supply them with medical and occupational services, to help rehabilitate those on the street for long periods of time. Many of these homeless veterans also suffer from psychological illnesses.
Recently, local authorities have been pushing to aid families living in hotels, who one step away from becoming homeless.
The program is funded with federal money from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.