The City of Orlando and the entire region remains committed to the Housing First model. Our regional strength that has been applied to other projects, like SunRail, will be used to house and support our chronic homeless population.
Please note: The City of Orlando and the Mayor’s Housing First Initiative does NOT provide direct services.
The Mayor’s Housing First Initiative is the City of Orlando’s response to homelessness by coordinating the efforts of various City agencies, including the Downtown Development Board, Housing and Community Development department, Economic Development department, the Office of Community Affairs and Human Relations, Orlando Police Department and others. The Mayor’s Housing First initiative develops best practice-oriented public policy for the City of Orlando, while guiding the city’s participation in ongoing regional planning activities.
Housing First is currently one of Mayor Dyer’s top priorities and the city is focused on a region-wide initiative with the goal of reducing chronic homelessness. As part of the strategy, the city, County, Federal Government, Homeless Service Network, Central Florida Commission on Homeless, the private sector, philanthropic community and many, local homeless service providers are all working together to implement a comprehensive plan.
Like never before, the system is working together by combining its resources and efforts in a targeted fashion to achieve transformational results. At the crux of our plan is the “housing first” strategy, which breaks the cycle of homelessness by providing permanent housing with an array of tailored supportive services. It is the national model for successfully housing the most vulnerable and difficult to house homeless individuals.
In late 2014, Mayor Dyer made a pledge to move 300 chronically homeless individuals and veterans into permanent, supportive housing by 2017. We’ve exceeded that goal.
In early 2017, we announced that we placed 385 chronically homeless individuals into permanent housing. And, across our region, we’ve placed more than 1300 people into permanent housing. Furthermore, we have been recognized by the White House, the Veterans Administration and The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness of effectively ending chronic veterans homelessness.
What’s even more encouraging than the numbers themselves is that our housing-first model is working.
Our current homeless situation has lingered for decades and we are working as fast as we can on a final, long-term solution of actually getting the homeless off the streets and into housing with needed supportive services.
We are helping the true homeless get off the streets as quickly as the housing and services becomes available, but developing such housing and funding for services does unfortunately take time.