Meet 3 local homeless men in an undisclosed camp in Seminole County, Fl. Accompanied by outreach specialists known as the HOPE Team of Sanford, hear these men’s perspective on being homeless. We’ll talk with the head of HOPE’s outreach initiative as she toils to offer pride and hope to the homeless. Feature length – 50:12
The recession faced by any community is making the dilemma of homelessness more pronounced…and Seminole County Florida is no different. Central Florida Matters’ feature — On Being…– is addressing the homeless issue in a three part series we title On Being …Homeless in Seminole County.
This is part-2 of this series, subtitled “the People”
Part one – the “Problem and the Players” is also on the web site here. It defines the “problem” and identifies some of the local “players servicing the homeless in Seminole County
Part three will launch on-line several weeks from now. It will address the “Possibilities” of better serving the homeless or even lowering the number of homeless.
But, here, in part 2 we meet 3 local homeless people in their ramshackled, undisclosed and unlawful camps in Seminole County. We accompany a team of 2 outreach specialists who daily bring hope and advice to our trio well as more than 200 other similar clients, and we talk with the head of that local outreach initiative as she toils with a mixture of business skill and compassion to offer pride and hope for those homeless and un-housed.
The voices the 3 local people who have direct experience “on being homeless in Seminole County are Ricky, David and Dale who producer/reporter Stephen McKenney Steck interviewed in their camp to which he was escorted by outreach specialists from the Sanford Hope Team – Steve “Rocky” Cook and Doug Little.
HOPE is an acronym for Homeless Outreach Partnership Effort. HOPE operates this outreach with specific goals and outcomes under Seminole Behavioral Healthcare. It is funded by a $75,000 one year grant from the Central Florida Homeless Services Network via the federal Housing and Urban Development department. Seminole Behavioral Healthcare adds to that grant with $19,000 in matching funds.
On the day of our visit, the HOPE team was within a week of celebrating their first anniversary and has secured a second year of funding for this local homeless outreach initiative of which only one or two others exist – in South Florida.
Our HOPE Team had previously gained individual permission from Ricky, David and Dale for my interview… We didn’t rudely barge in to their camp unannounced. There were no conditions placed on Steck or these interviews and all agreed to still photos and name identification.
After Steck’s interview with Ricky, David and Dale, he assesses their responses and his reactions with the HOPE Team members and he talks with their supervisor and project outreach manager, Karen Harmon.
Extended Interview & Pictures
Karen Harmon and Stephen McKenney Steck
Extended interview (40:20)
Informative web links on issues related to homelessness
- Homeless Services Network of Central Florida
- Seminole Behavioral Healthcare
- US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
- Families in Transition (Seminole County Public Schools)
- Rescue Outreach Mission
- Christian Sharing Center
- Safe House of Seminole County
- Recovery House of Central Florida
- Seminole County Government Community Services Division
- Pathways to Home
- 211 Community Resources and Referrals
- Heart of Florida United Way
- The Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act.
- Central Florida area Community Coordinated Childcare
- Florida Department of Children and Families – Office on Homelessness
- Central Florida Regional Commission on Homelessness
- The Children’s Cabinet
- Boys Town of Central Florida
- Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida
- Jewish Family Services of Greater Orlando (Kids Konnect program)
Links to features produced by CMF Public Media addressing issues related to homelessness
- On Being…Homeless in Seminole County, Part-1: The Problem and the People
- Homeless Students in Seminole County Florida
- Coping with the Economy In Seminole County: Health Clinic
- Coping with the Economy in Seminole County: Food Pantry
- Youth Substance Abuse in Seminole County, Florida
- Commentary: Bakari F. Burns, Chief Executive Officer, Health Care Center for the Homeless commenting on the steps necessary to achieve quality and affordable health care services for the homeless.
- Commentary: Rachael Todd, Miss Florida 2009 and a resident of Oviedo, Florida, commenting on why ending homelessness matters.