In 2006, while attending her son’s soccer practice, Krissy Todd was approached by a couple who were homeless and pregnant. While talking to the couple, Krissy learned their story; the father had been laid off from his job in the construction industry and the mom lost her job after a prolonged stay in the hospital due to gestational diabetes. Subsequently, they lost their home, ended up living in their car, which was then repossessed, and as a result, they lost all their personal possessions, and were left living on the streets.
By using their contacts and resources, the Todd family, along with their community, were able to rebuild this couple’s lives. They placed them into a temporary living facility and provided them with clothing, food and other necessities. They received help in re-attaining their personal documents, getting job interviews and eventual employment. In the end, they were successful in getting this couple back on their feet.
In the process of assisting this family, it was discovered that despite the fact that there are resources available, services are limited and difficult to gain access to, especially for families.
It was at this time that the vision became clear and HOPE was established.
HOPE’s mission is to prevent and reduce homelessness in Central Florida by equipping individuals and families to become self-sufficient through Housing, Outreach, Prevention and Education.
HOPE addresses the issues facing individuals and families in crisis by networking with local agencies and organizations, partnering to become more effective, studying best and emerging practices, and developing innovative problem-solving ideas in a comprehensive, coordinated, and strategic fashion.
We effectively make use of services that exist and identify trends in what is needed to enable individuals and families to become self sufficient.
We educate and transform the way people view and treat those in need, by providing awareness, and the opportunity to create change. HOPE is engaging communities to develop and plan long term solutions that address the problems facing those in crisis. Together we will make a difference in the lives of those in our community.
We envision a world where people know that there is HOPE.
For 20 years, communities throughout the country have been managing the homeless problem rather than seeking to address the root causes. The Federal Government has spent billions of dollars on homeless programs since the McKinney act of 1987. Despite this investment, there continues to be millions of people who experience homelessness nationally. Recently, the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness has spearheaded a national effort to both prevent and end homelessness. But they feel that it is only through local community efforts that this type of plan will work. We want to initiate such a plan here in Central Florida.
It is actually a lot less expensive to prevent and end homelessness than to keep supporting it. We must implement prevention strategies that reduce the number of people who become homeless and increase supportive services and expedite placement into housing. The cost to provide one year of housing & supportive services to one homeless individual is approximately $9,000 a year. The cost to provide a family of four with a $300 monthly subsidy is $3,600. Waiting for at risk populations to fall into homelessness only creates more homeless specific programs, increases costs and deepens the human tragedy. The average person has only one picture of what homelessness is – but in reality, homeless people are men, women, children & families. Homelessness crosses all lines – and affects everyone.
Homeless people are not a monolith; in fact, a “one size fits all” solution does not exist. Homelessness is a societal problem that requires a partnership between private charities, government & active public support. Homelessness is a national problem with local solutions. We feel we should do everything we can to help those living in conditions unworthy of their human dignity. Together we can end this National disgrace.