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Intersection: The Pandemic Amplifies Homelessness In Osceola County; Officials Push To Boost Census Completion

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The Washington Post shone a spotlight on an Osceola County motel where residents are staying with no water or power. Now many of the families at the Star Motel are being moved into safer, cleaner accommodation. But that’s just a temporary fix. 

On this episode of Intersection, we talk about how the pandemic and the recession is amplifying the housing crisis with Barbie Austria, founder of Kissimmee Poinciana Homeless Outreach, and Rev. Mary Lee Downey, CEO of the Community Hope Center. 

And- the census is just a couple weeks away from wrapping up, and staff from the US census bureau- along with leaders in Orange County- are pushing to get more people to complete it. 

Mayor Jerry Demings wants the county to reach a 70 percent self response rate. Melvin Pittman, with the complete count committee, joins Intersection to talk about the challenge of getting the census done during the pandemic, and the importance of the count for federal funding and political representation. We also listen back to an interview first aired in March, with Marc Morial, CEO of the National Urban League. 


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Matthew Peddie

About Matthew Peddie

Host of WMFE's Intersection & Assistant News Director

A recent transplant to the Sunshine State, Matthew Peddie grew up in New Zealand and studied journalism at the University of Western Ontario. After graduating with an MA in Journalism he returned to Christchurch, working as a reporter for Radio Live and Radio New Zealand. He’s reported live from the scene of ... Read Full Bio »

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