US Adventist hospital partners to fight homelessness in Florida
Executives with the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness and Florida Hospital recently joined regional authorities to announce that more than 100 formerly homeless people have moved into homes as a result of the region’s “Housing First” initiative.
In 2014, Florida Hospital, a group of Seventh-day Adventist-operated healthcare institutions in Central Florida, United States, made a $6 million donation to end chronic homelessness in the region—the largest one-time private commitment of its kind. Central Florida leaders leveraged this contribution to launch a campaign to end the cycle of chronic homelessness in the region by transitioning to the Housing-First model, in which the chronically homeless are provided a home, extensive support services, and case managers.
“We are thrilled to celebrate this significant milestone in Central Florida’s history. This pilot to build a new system of care would not be possible were it not for the collaboration and support of our community partners,” said Shelley Lauten, CEO of the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness. “While the pilot shows great promise, it is important we remember the work we have done as a community must not stop. We will continue to work together to effectively end chronic homelessness in Central Florida—by making it rare, brief and one time.”
Besides representatives from the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness and Florida Hospital, present at the ceremony were Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, Kissimmee Mayor Jose Alvarez, Osceola County Commissioner Peggy Choudhry, and Seminole County Commissioner John Horan.
The Housing First model is a proven approach…