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Grant for $519K will boost a Central Florida nonprofit’s help for homeless adults with mental health disorders

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Demetrius Gaskin is a Pathlight staff member at the Pathways Drop In Center in Orlando. Photo: Muffet Robinson

A Central Florida nonprofit serving homeless people can double its outreach to those with mental health issues using a COVID-19 relief grant from Orange County.

The County Commission approved the use of $519,080 in American Rescue Plan funds on Tuesday.

Muffet Robinson with Pathlight HOME says they provide housing for more than 600 otherwise homeless people in Orlando, along with case management and employment assistance.

In July, the nonprofit added the Pathways Drop In Center at 1313 30th Street, where it has food, showers, case management and peer support for 30 homeless adults diagnosed with a mental health disorder.

“The need,” she said, “is so critical for homeless people who also have mental illness in our community. I’d say about 80% of homeless people have a mental illness.”

Robinson said that with this grant the center will serve 50 to 65 people a day with everything from telemedicine and transportation to counseling and meals.

“Mostly we will be able to offer them peer services,” she said. “If you’ve been there before, you’re one of the best people to help others get out of those situations.”

The grant runs through January 31st of next year.

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Joe Byrnes

About Joe Byrnes


Joe Byrnes reports on aging-related issues for WMFE/WMFV. Please contact him at jbyrnes@wmfe.org. He came to WMFE from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after ... Read Full Bio »