Citing strong commitments from Orlando and Orange County and declaring “We all have a moral obligation to take a stand to end chronic homelessness,” Lars Houmann, CEO and President of Florida Hospital, announced today his healthcare organization’s $6 million pledge to address homelessness in Central Florida. Joining Houmann for the announcement was Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and Central Florida Commission on Homelessness CEO Andrae Bailey. Mayor Dyer has unveiled a goal of housing 300 of Orlando’s chronically homeless individuals in three years.
Through his efforts, Orlando has earmarked $4 million to support a “Housing First” model and engaged CSH to provide technical assistance. In addition, Mayor Jacobs is leading Orange County’s plan to invest more than $15 million over the next three years for homeless housing, prevention and related family programs. The resources from Florida Hospital will serve as the kick-off investment in the Central Florida Foundation’s new “Impact Homeless Fund,” a collaborative, public and private investment-solutions vehicle to help those facing homelessness in Orange, Osceola, and Seminole Counties.
Another early focus of this funding partnership will be homeless veterans. "The local VA has had great success in working with homeless veterans in our region, but we need to work with them to improve our coordinated access practices to ensure rapid and full utilization of new housing options for those chronically homeless veterans who remain on streets; especially those who are medically fragile," said John Hillenmeyer, managing chair of Central Florida Commission on Homelessness.