Welcome to The PDO Blog

Published By: Ebraheem Naser

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Welcome! Thank you for tuning in to the Project Downtown Orlando Blog Page!

Project Downtown Orlando Inc. (PDO) was established as a 501(c)3 Nonprofit organization in the early months of 2019. PDO was born as a response to the evolving problems faced by the underserved and displaced population in Orlando, Florida. As of early 2021, we provide necessary services to these communities on a weekly basis. In its inception, Project Downtown focused heavily on simply providing nutritious meals to the homeless; the idea was that providing a meal would alleviate one task and one uncertainty at the very least. With this, people could focus on other aspects of their lives whether that be re-entering the workforce, attending an educational institute, or simply regaining their mental and physical health.

A common question we receive is, ‘Aren’t there already enough programs for homeless people?’ While there are great programs adopted by the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (, the focus on these projects is to lower the national averages and national statistics. As a local nonprofit, Project Downtown is primarily focused on the absolute and sheer number of individuals affected by homelessness in our own backyard. According to HUD’s latest annual report from 2020, ‘On a single night in January 2020, More than half of all people experiencing homelessness in the country were in four states: California (28% or 161,548 people); New York (16% or 91,271 people); Florida (5% or 27,487 people); and Texas (5% or 27,229).’

Although Florida contributes greatly to the numbers of homeless individuals in the U.S, there have been exceptional accomplishments, such as having the largest decrease of homeless individuals in any state between 2007-2020 (20,582 fewer people). It is critical to PDO’s mission that we become instrumental in furthering this decline. While we acknowledge the grandiosity of this goal, PDO will continue to improve the quality of life for these communities and contribute to a smooth path back to society.

Project Downtown Orlando rapidly grew in popularity averaging almost 40 volunteers per service, notably coming from UCF as well as many interfaith communities in Orlando. As time passed, it became apparent that the simple mission and goal of this organization had resonated with communities from every corner of The City Beautiful.

PDO’s Board of Directors soon decided to expand on the organization’s services and evolve their efforts to combatting more of the root causes of homelessness and deeper issues affecting residentially challenged communities. Plans were made to expand the scope of PDO’s mission, but their execution was unfortunately delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the pandemic of 2020 brought uncertainty and hardships into all of our lives, it disproportionately affected underserved communities.

Like most organizations and nonprofits during the pandemic, Project Downtown’s in-person services came to a complete halt for months per the guidelines laid out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, as more information was released about transmission of the virus, PDO’s valiant leadership resumed giving back to these communities with extreme caution and continues to do so. Simultaneously, modifications are being made to the expansion efforts which will soon come to fruition – this blog is proof of that.

Moving into the future, it is hopeful that Project Downtown will not only improve upon its current practices but also lead and undertake initiatives relating to public health, education, social work, and any other avenue that the destitute and indigent communities in the City of Orlando take us through.

This blog aims to educate the general public and bring awareness to the most prevalent and up-to-date issues facing the overlooked populations in Orlando, Florida. We hope that as we share our experiences with you, you’ll join us in advocating for your fellow citizen by using your voice on these urgent issues.

Best Regards,

Ebraheem Naser

President of Project Downtown Orlando Inc

About the author
Ebraheem Naser
Ebraheem Naser is an Orlando native that feels passionately about giving back to the underserved communities starting in his hometown. He’s a current graduate student attending University of Florida pursuing his Doctor of Pharmacy degree. He believes in advocating for better public health resources to be allocated to neglected communities to ensure health equity.

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