WMFE is Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming on 90.7 FM and Classical Music on 90.7 HD2. Part of the community since 1965, WMFE focuses on providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.

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Special Series Stories

Local News


Life in a Migrant Labor Camp in Central Florida


Interior of a migrant labor camp residence, photo by Amy Kiley
Interior of a migrant labor camp residence, photo by Amy Kiley
According to the state health department, about 200,000 migrant or seasonal workers help harvest crops in Florida annually. The federal government estimates they earn about $7,000 a year for a single worker or $10,000 for a family. That makes finding affordable housing difficult, and many are classified as homeless under federal law. To overcome this problem and attract needed workers, some employers build migrant labor camps. The state regulates more than 700 of them, housing about 34,000 people. Migrant laborers come to Polk County from October to May to harvest citrus, so county health inspectors are visiting camps now. 90.7’s Amy Kiley tagged along recently with inspectors Delmys Cerrato and John Cook. They toured the cramped, summer-camp-like units where workers … Read More
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Local News


Homelessness Along Osceola County’s Tourism Corridor: A Perspective From US-192


Community Hope Center Executive Director Mary Downey stands by the organization's
Community Hope Center Executive Director Mary Downey stands by the organization's "vision board," where goals for 2014 are displayed
Osceola County has one of the highest numbers of homeless families in the country, according to a recent report commissioned by county officials. And in an area dominated by the tourism industry, homelessness can present itself in unexpected ways. Many of these families are staying off the streets by squeezing into a room at one of the motels lining US-192, a busy tourist corridor. But now, most of the tourists that come to visit the theme parks nearby stay at the newer hotels on the park’s property. Tension is building between the motel owners, who want their rooms open for thrifty visitors, and the families, who are stuck in a financial position that makes it difficult to save up for … Read More
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Special Series Stories


Homeless Youth Face Unique Challenges


[Photo: Kenneth Wilson wants to tell other homeless youth, Don't give up. He wants to help them improve their lives. By Taisha Henry.]
[Photo: Kenneth Wilson wants to tell other homeless youth, Don't give up. He wants to help them improve their lives. By Taisha Henry.]
August 7, 2014 | WMFE, Orlando – You would never guess they’re living on the street or in shelters. Yet more than 7,000 of Central Florida’s youth are homeless. Kenneth Wilson is a 20-year-old young man who currently attends Full Sail University. Kenneth is about 5 feet 9 inches, well-dressed in a fitted polo and jeans. He seems like your ordinary college kid. You would never guess that he lives in a homeless shelter. “You know, it was my freshman year of college, and you don’t sit here and think, I’m excited I got into a homeless shelter my freshman year of college.” When Kenneth was 18 he moved to Orlando from the midwest for college. At first he stayed … Read More
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Local News


After Foreclosure, Homeless Face Long Recovery



August 6, 2014 | WMFE, Orlando – Five years after the end of the worst recession in a generation, no region is more troubled by foreclosures than Central Florida. The crisis is resolving in most of the rest of the country. But here, where houses continue to go up for auction, families left homeless by foreclosure face a long recovery. The Kelloggs are one of those families. Paul Kellogg and his wife Judie moved in to their new home about a year ago with their two children, 21-year-old Dominique and 18-year-old Raymond. Paul is a civil engineer who was designing subdivisions when he lost his job in 2009. A year later the bank foreclosed on the Sanford home where the … Read More
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Special Series Stories


Access to Healthcare a Challenge for Central Florida’s Homeless



WMFE, Orlando-According to the latest state report, the majority of Florida’s homeless are low-income, childless, non-veterans under age 60. It’s a likely formula for being medically uninsured. As part of our series on Homelessness in Central Florida, we look at how access to insurance and health care continues to be a struggle for those living on the streets. Vincent Williams and dozens of men line up outside an emergency homeless shelter in downtown Orlando. This has been his routine for almost three years. The Florida sun beats down on him, revealing a tinge of yellow in his eyes. “I have sickle cell anemia and I have deterioration of bones,” said Williams, 52. This genetic condition causes fatigue and unbearable episodes … Read More
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Intersection


Intersection | A Panel Discussion on Homelessness


Man holding cardboard sign
Man holding cardboard sign
The YouTube video Cardboard Stories highlights the stories of Orlando’s homeless population. The video, posted about a month ago, has received almost 2 million views so far. But is awareness enough to make a change? 90.7’s Matthew Peddie speaks to Dr. Jim Wright, Sociologist at the University of Central Florida, Andrae Bailey, CEO for the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness and Maria Shorkey and Kenneth Wilson from the Covenant House Florida on the challenges Central Florida faces when tackling homelessness and what needs to be done moving forward.
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Sunrail Series


SunRail Challenge: Changing the Psychology of Commuters

Winter Park SunRail Station. Photo Credit: Carmel Delshad, WMFE
Winter Park SunRail Station. Photo Credit: Carmel Delshad, WMFE
WMFE, Orlando – The first phase of SunRail is officially underway, but with many Central Floridians accustomed to using their own cars for all their transportation needs, SunRail faces a fundamental question: how do you convince people to give up their driving habit in favor of mass transit? Experts say it’s no small feat to entice Central Florida away from its “car-centric” culture in a lasting manner. “If you build it, they will come” may have worked in the film Field of Dreams, but fulfilling the vision of successful mass transit in Central Florida isn’t so simple. While some area residents are already “on board” with SunRail, so to speak, Rollins College marketing and ethics professor Mark Johnston says the … Read More
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