When homeless people come to Altamonte Chapel, the congregation welcomes them to worship and offers the help it can: a meal, a ride, maybe some new clothes. But the small church doesn't have the resources to get them off the streets permanently.
Filtering by Category: Poverty
By Reggie Connell/ Managing Editor of The Apopka Voice Hurricane Irma slammed into Apopka last week with unexpected fury and jarred the community to its core. Streets flooded, trees fell, and the vast majority of residents lost power at their homes, but when the wind and rain subsided, Apopka came together and began the process of recovery from the devastation that Irma inflicted.
Community leaders met Thursday to talk about ways to help the homeless in Seminole County. The Symposium at Harvest Time International brought together leaders from government, the faith community and the non-profit sector. Central Florida Commission on Homelessness CEO Shelley Lauten said one of the challenges is making it easier for the homeless to get access to care.
The Central Florida Commission on Homelessness has taken a housing first approach, trying to get families into homes so they can get the services they need. How's that strategy playing out in Seminole County? County Commissioner John Horan and Shelley Lauten and Joel Hunter from the Commission on Homelessness discuss the way forward.
Joel Hunter has been one of Central Florida's foremost religious leaders, synonymous for more than three decades with Longwood's evangelical megachurch Northland, A Church Distributed. But within the next couple of months, Hunter, 69, plans to step down from the calling he once thought he would devote the rest of his life to and start a new ministry for the poor and homeless.
Joel Hunter has announced that he is stepping down as a senior pastor in Orlando megachurch Northland Church to go beyond the walls of the house of worship and minister to the poor and the homeless.
This past January, Homeless Services Network of Central Florida, along with the most expansive participating number of organizations and volunteers to date, conducted Central Florida's annual Point-in-Time (PIT) Count. The PIT Count, an actual physical count of homeless individuals, serves as an annual gauge to capture the number of persons or families in a community who meet the federal definition of homeless, as defined by the U.S.
Charles Pitts, a retired Lake Mary executive, was attending service athis Longwood church late last year when his pastor launched a recruiting mission for foot soldiers in the battle against homelessness. "I knew immediately I wanted to join," said Pitts, 72, who has lived at both ends of the rags to riches spectrum.
As we enter a new season of even greater effectiveness, transparency and compassion, our intent remains: essentially to end homelessness in Central Florida. We have built a terrific foundation through the charismatic leadership of Chief Executive Officer Andrae Bailey and the attentive guidance of Linda Landman Gonzalez.