After arson at Kissimmee Salvation Army, leaders eye new Central Receiving Facility

Exactly 4 months after Kissimmee Police arrested a man for allegedly setting the Salvation Army’s Kissimmee building on fire,  the organization hasn’t found a new Kissimmee location.


The organization said as a result they’ve had to temporarily limit some of their services including showers and laundry for the homeless there.

As leaders work to find a new temporary space, the organization is now working towards a $10 million long term solution.

In February, Osceola County commissioners agreed to a matching grant of up to $5 million for the Salvation Army to build a central receiving facility for those experiencing homelessness.

Osceola County Commissioner Peggy Choudhry sees this as part of the county’s larger plan to address a homeless crisis.

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“This is another step forward in the right direction,” said Choudhry, “We need to do things that are a little different, that are going to still assist and help.”

Data from the Homeless Service Network shows since 2019, Osceola County’s homeless population has skyrocketed 67 percent, far outpacing the increases seen in both Seminole and Orange Counties.

The Salvation Army’s central receiving facility is intended to help address the alarming spike by centralizing all services for those experiencing homelessness.

It would include “day services” such as food, showers, and laundry, as well as social service components including mental health, case management, and financial literacy support.

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“You can go one place and get everything you need? All the referrals you need, we’ll be right there,” said Captain Ken Chapman, the area commander for the Salvation Army of Orange and Osceola Counties.

The new facility will tentatively be placed on county land off of Yates road near Shingle Creek and U.S. 192. Though, those agreements still must be finalized.

As of now, $5 million county matching grants are not a guarantee either.

Before any plans get underway, the Salvation Army must first fundraise about $5 million in the next two years.

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Chapman said the organization has set the ambitious goal of meeting that benchmark in the next 6 months.

In the meantime, they are still accepting donations for both the central receiving facility and a temporary 2-year home.

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