Orlando City Council to consider $5.1 million plan to help homeless

Orlando City Council will soon decide whether they’ll approve millions to renovate a facility where the homeless go for help.


The Christian Service Center is requesting over $5.1 million in funding from a city-wide initiative known as Accelerate Orlando.

That initiative uses federal funds through the American Rescue Plan Act to address housing and homelessness.

The city says it will spend $58 million on various projects as part of the initiative, and the Christian Service Center now hopes their project will get the green light.

The Christian Service Center provides day-to-day services like hot meals, showers, and laundry facilities for the homeless.

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But it also serves as an access point connecting homeless visitors with case managers.

Since 2020, the organization has helped 3,303 people either get off the streets or avoid homelessness altogether.

The organization’s CEO says they’re on pace to help lift over 10,000 people out of homelessness over the next 5 years. But he says that can’t happen without renovations to the facility.

The plan to renovate this space would cost over $5 million, but the organization says it’s necessary since no work has been done since 1984.

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“We can’t maintain our existing pace with the current infrastructure we have. We just won’t survive long enough. There’s too many major things that have to be replaced on the property,” said Gray.

Gray says roofs need to be replaced, air conditioning units need to be installed, and the asphalt needs to be redone.

If the renovations are approved, the plans would go beyond maintenance and would also improve efficiency at the center.

It would redo plumbing inside one of the buildings to install indoor showers, toilets, and laundry units.

All of these are currently being stored in mobile units on the premises.

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The project would also add new mental health services to the campus.

Right now, one of four buildings on the property is in such disrepair that it is only being used for storage.

If renovations are approved, that building will come up to code and become home to on-site behavioral health services for the homeless.

Gray says the Christian Service Center will partner with a separate non-profit to start the mental health clinic up on the premises.

“There’s a significant number of people that are homeless and are experiencing severe mental illness and it has to be treated a little more effectively,” said Gray,

So far, the city has already allocated over $7.5 million in funding for various housing and homeless projects through the Accelerate Orlando initiative.

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