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Seminole County Leaders Discuss Solutions To Homelessness

Community leaders met Thursday to talk about ways to help the homeless in Seminole County. The Symposium at Harvest Time International brought together leaders from government, the faith community and the non-profit sector.

Central Florida Commission on Homelessness CEO Shelley Lauten said one of the challenges is making it easier for the homeless to get access to care.

“We’ve grown up around one organization doing things one way, another organization doing it entirely different,’ said Lauten.

“You have to build a system of care that everybody moves toward so that we take as much of the bureaucracy out of it as possible.” 

The symposium included combatting chronic homelessness, the importance of the faith community, and the move towards a “housing first” model.

That’s where the primary goal is to get the homeless into housing and support them with the services they need to keep them housed.

Reverend Joel Hunter recently left his role as a pastor to focus on helping the homeless. Hunter is the chair of the Commission on Homelessness.

“This is all about relationships, both with the actual families themselves and those in need of help, and among the helpers,” said Hunter.

“We belong to a culture where everybody’s entrepreneurial and everybody will come up with their own island of care, but this problem will not be solved without an entire community coming together,” he said.

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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 »