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What’s Next After a Central Florida Nonprofit Got a Jeff Bezos Funded Grant to Help Homeless Families?

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Homeless services providers will be able to apply to the grant in early 2020. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

A Central Florida nonprofit received a $5.2 million grant from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ foundation to provide housing and other services to homeless families.

The Bezos Day 1 Families Fund Grant will be administered by the Homeless Services Network in Orlando. 

Director Martha Are says the nonprofit will begin accepting applications from providers in Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties in early 2020. 

“These are some unique dollars that are going to allow us to do some creative, hopefully some kind of entrepreneurial responses to expand the value of the services that we are already providing.”

Are says the money will be used to provide additional temporary and permanent housing with supportive services for homeless families with children.

“Whether that is engaging families through outreach, trying to help families resolve their homeless crisis without having to enter into the homeless shelter facilities as well as helping families to move into permanent housing and be able to sustain that housing.”

She says that could mean more diversion programs that keep children out of emergency shelters and more supportive services that help single parents or parents who are struggling with addiction stay in housing.

According to the Florida Council on Homelessness, there were more than 700 people in homeless families in these three counties alone at the 2019 point-in-time count.

If you’d like to listen to the story, please click on the clips above.

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »