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Housing the First 100: A Community Conversation

Rethink Homelessness on June 27, 2017
Two years ago, the City of Orlando and Florida Hospital made a big investment in the fight to make homelessness brief, one-time, and rare in Central Florida. Since then, government leaders, business professionals and on-the-ground service providers have been diligently working together to provide h...
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Acts of Love and Kindness in Central Florida

What Acts of Kindness Touched You This Year?

Rethink Homelessness on June 12, 2017
Rethink Homelessness is all about stories: stories of people who have faced personal tragedies and struggles that many people cannot even imagine, and the stories of people who step up and try to make a difference in the world.  [caption id="attachment_1715" align="alignleft" width="300"] Artwo...
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National Hunger and Homelessness Day

National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Day

Rethink Homelessness on November 15, 2016
Yesterday I had the distinct pleasure of standing before the Orlando City Council on behalf of the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness, along with other partner organizations who work tirelessly to help those in critical need of food and shelter each and every day. We were all issued a proc...
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Shelley Lauten to Lead Central Florida Commission on Homelessness

Rethink Homelessness on October 18, 2016
ORLANDO — In its ongoing efforts to end homelessness in our region, the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness is pleased to announce the unanimous selection of Shelley Lauten as our new Chief Executive Officer, replacing Andrae Bailey, the current CEO. This change will begin on October 24 and...
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Transparent: A Day in the Life of the Veterans Surge

Rethink Homelessness on August 6, 2015
by Brenda K. Colter, Surge Volunteer How many times I have driven down that road to go to work and recall seeing a person pushing a shopping cart out of the woods or someone who was dirty, wearing raggedy clothes and carrying a beat up backpack?  How many times did I actually see them? Or was I ...
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Help End Veteran Homelessness

Rethink Homelessness on June 29, 2015
The Central Florida Commission on Homelessness needs your help. We are launching a historic initiative to End Veteran Homelessness in 2015 and our success depends on purpose-driven people like you. Across this nation, thousands of Veterans go without one of the most basic human necessities: stable h...
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Homeless Children: Life On The Streets

Rethink Homelessness on April 30, 2015
Many homeless children end up on the streets because of horrific abuses in the home.  Of those youths 46% reported physical abuse, 17% sexual abuse, and 38% report emotional abuse in the home. According to a study by YouthCare that sampled homeless youth: 33% had been in foster care 51% ha...
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Homeless Teens

Homeless Teens: Abandoned. Lost. Forgotten.

Rethink Homelessness on April 24, 2015
Homelessness among our youth has been a growing issue. There are an estimated 1.6 million homeless teens at any given time in the United States with about 200,000 living a permanent life on the streets. Some of these youths are runaways, some are throwaways. All of them suffer the same. Living a lif...
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Homelesness Lost Hope

Lonely

Dave Siriano on April 8, 2015
My heart broke as I positioned myself to take his picture. He had his cap in his hand and his head was bowed as I slowly took one picture after another. At first it looked like he was praying, but as I got closer, I could see the fatigue and could sense the loneliness that he was feeling. I pressed ...
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Running Out Of Gas

Joshua Johnson on April 6, 2015
I"ve run out of gas. I know you"ve seen her, we"ve all seen her. She is the woman at the gas station asking people for $1 so that she can buy some gas to get home. Sometimes she has a gas can, sometimes not. Either way, it’s the same story, "I"ve run out of gas. I"m stuck. I need help." Ofte...
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Homeless Children

The Story Of Lee

Rethink Homelessness on March 30, 2015
Every story has a beginning, and this story begins with Lee"s mother, Diane. Diane was married at age 14 to a man with severe mental illness. By 16, she had a son and was pregnant again. Eight months pregnant with a baby girl, Diane filed for divorce to escape an abusive marriage and moved back i...
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Rethinking Homelessness for Veterans

Rethink Homelessness on March 18, 2015
Today the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness and our partners at triSect and the Orlando Regional Realtors Association released a new report, announcing a historic reduction in Veterans homelessness in our region. Since 2011, the Orlando VA Medical Center has been implementing a proven na...
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Context

Joshua Johnson on March 11, 2015
Context is critical in order to understand what someone means when they make a statement.  It is often missing when someone gives a very short answer to what could be a very complicated question. I have spent a great deal of time getting to know many of my homeless neighbors.  I ask them a lot ...
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Misconceptions about the homeless

The Four Biggest Misconceptions About Homelessness

Andrae Bailey on March 3, 2015
Do Our Myths Prevent Us From Ending Homelessness? In the United States, we know that homelessness is a problem. In fact, it is a problem that in the past never seemed to have a solution. But the more I think about it, the more I am convinced that we have struggled as a society to find a real s...
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Homeless family in Orlando, FL panhandling for help.

What can be done for the homeless?

Rethink Homelessness on February 19, 2015
What can be done for the homeless? How can I help? These are questions we hear on a regular basis as the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness works to bring awareness of the plight of our neighbors in need. There are so many people we have met who dedicate their lives to helping others, ...
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Last Year We Changed Minds, This Year We Must Change Lives.

Rethink Homelessness on February 3, 2015
Bums, panhandlers, hobos, and other names are often used to describe the homeless people we see wandering down the streets, pushing shopping carts, and sleeping in doorways.  Often we try not to make eye contact for fear they will ask us for something. We may feel sorry for them, but often feel hel...
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becoming part of the homelessness solution

Part of the Solution

Rethink Homelessness on January 27, 2015
My employment started with the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness on January 12th, but my involvement and passion for this organization started long before January. As I walked to lunch downtown today, it was so real to me why the Commission serves such a strong purpose in the community and ...
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Real Lives, Real Stories: Antonio

Rethink Homelessness on November 26, 2014
Posted By: Matt Kenyon Many of the homeless in the Orlando community are pit against insurmountable physical and mental limitations that, despite their willingness to work, keep them rutted in a lifestyle on the streets. This is the case with Antonio, a former deli owner with an Italian accent...
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Christ Has No Body But Yours

Rethink Homelessness on November 26, 2014
Posted by: Joseph Buranosky; Executive Director - Catholic Charities of Central Florida Orlando is home to so many food markets and restaurants, and agriculture has been an important piece of the economy, yet the Orlando area consistently ranks in the top 10 hungriest metropolitan areas in the coun...
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I have a name. I am a person.

Rethink Homelessness on November 26, 2014
Posted By: Dr. David Swanson - Senior Pastor, First Presbyterian Church of Orlando, FL I will never forget the day it happened.  I was in my office going about my normal affairs when I heard some loud commotion coming from the street below my window.  As a downtown church, it is not unusual for s...
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Rethinking Homelessness The Real Stories of the Homeless in Central Florida

Rethink Homelessness on November 26, 2014
Posted by: Andrae Bailey, CEO- Central Florida Commission on Homelessness Stereotypes are powerful forces in our society.   When we start out with a misconception on an issue, we usually struggle to find a solution. Homelessness is no different; in Central Florida we struggle with many f...
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