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Resources for the Homeless

Published By: Shafiqul Bhuiya

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What is the best way to help the homeless? What resources are out there to help alleviate their burden? It’s common to wonder how to effectively help the homeless population. However, it is difficult to know the most appropriate ways to help, and what resources are out there to do so. We know the usual types of assistance, such as homeless shelters and food banks. These are vital, lifesaving resources that cannot be understated. However, there are also other types of resources for the homeless population that can be as vital, if not more. With this post, we hope to enlighten our audience on some of the resources available in the United States, and specifically in Central Florida that can help our neighbors who are experiencing hard times.

The federal government, in conjunction with our state and local governments, have created programs to fund and organize resources to address homelessness. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is a sector of the federal government that administers programs which provide housing and community development assistance. In order to effectively assist those experiencing homelessness, the HUD has created the Continuum of Care (CoC) program. This program is designed to “promote community-wide commitment to the goal of ending homelessness.” It accomplishes this through a variety of means such as promoting community-wide planning and strategic use of resources. In Central Florida, the CoC utilizes entities such as Central Florida Commission on Homelessness (CFCH), and its primary agency, the Homeless Services Network of Central Florida (HSN), to carry out its mission.

Through these varying groups, the Continuum of Care program is able to provide assistance such as Permanent Supportive Housing and Rapid Re-Housing, among others. These programs were created to help individuals and families rapidly get into long-term housing. They do this via a mixture of rental assistance, assistance from a case manager, and locating affordable housing. These programs can be applied to via the HSN website. In addition to the housing programs, another resource that is available to the Central Florida homeless community are called “HUBs.” HUBs are safe locations where individuals and families can go to have a conversation with trained staff members that will help explore options to keep individuals and families off the street and out of shelters. HUB locations can be found on the CFCH website.

In addition to the resources available due to the CoC, there is another resource that is available to homeless individuals in Central Florida, as well as nationwide. This is the nationwide service for non-emergency life challenges. By dialing 2-1-1 on any phone or sending your zip code to 898-211, you will be connected to a staff member who will be able to connect you to vital assistance. This service can help homeless individuals connect to a wide variety of resources that can assist with items such as affordable housing as well as health and mental health assistance.

Homelessness can be a very challenging time for those who experience it. However, there are resources available in Central Florida and nationwide that homeless individuals and families can take advantage of. From federal programs that assist in acquiring a home, to hotlines that can connect to a variety of resources, there are many avenues that the homeless population can utilize to alleviate the burdens of homelessness.

Resources:

 

https://www.hud.gov/states/florida/homeless

https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/comm_planning/coc

https://www.orangecountyfl.net/FamiliesHealthSocialSvcs/HomelessnessServicesandInitiatives.aspx#.Yf9Cwy-cZsP

https://www.hudexchange.info/programs/coc/coc-program-eligibility-requirements/

https://www.cfch.org/list-of-hubs/

https://uwcf.org/8-things-to-know-about-211/

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the author
Shafiqul Bhuiya
Shafiqul Bhuiya is a Bangladeshi-American from Bronx, New York. He has graduated with a Masters in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Central Florida and aspires to become a Physician Assistant. He is currently working as a Molecular Technologist in Infectious Disease testing. Shafiqul enjoys exercising, playing video games, and volunteering with Project Downtown Orlando during his free time. He believes in the power of proper healthcare and the hope it can bring to people in need.

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