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mimapr

Aumenta Numero De Indigentes Cerca De Disney World En Orlando

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No todo es color de rosa.

 

 

Near Disney World, number of homeless families soars
 
By Kate Santich, Orlando Sentinel

7:53 p.m. ESTJanuary 22, 2014

 

In the shadow of Walt Disney World, Osceola County has one of the highest rates of homeless families in the nation, and the problem continues to grow at an "astonishing" rate, officials told more than 300 community leaders Wednesday.

The number of homeless school-age children and parents rose by 54 percent to more than 5,000 in the past year alone, according to a new report commissioned by county government. Current programs aimed at helping those families get back on their feet have enough funding to help fewer than 10 percent of them.

 

"These families are not getting out of homelessness on their own," said Andrae Bailey, executive director of the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness, which co-hosted a conference on what Bailey called the "single largest social issue" facing Osceola County. "A lot of these families have working parents. The whole concept of 'pull yourself up by your bootstraps' doesn't apply."

 


Several officials, though, said the issue threatened the region's family-oriented tourism industry.The conference drew leaders from government, public schools, churches, nonprofit agencies and businesses, including Disney. Company spokeswoman Andrea Finger said the theme-park giant would collaborate with the other groups on solutions, but she declined to be more specific.

 




"It is a big problem," said Osceola County Commissioner Michael Hartford. "We have to rethink how we're spending our dollars here. We have to invest in human capital."

 

Bailey said the "shockingly high" number of homeless families in Osceola stem from a unique intersection of low-wage jobs, high mobility, cheap and plentiful motel rooms, a lack of homeless shelters and, some say, a lack of code enforcement that allows families to stay in motels for months — sometimes years — at a time.

 

"If the families stop paying, the police won't kick them out. They tell us we have to go to court to get an eviction [order], which would cost us thousands of dollars," said Mohamed Elalfy, who runs the Gator Motel on U.S. Highway 192 just west of Kissimmee. The tourism strip rent-by-the-week motels serve as home to more than 800 school-age children. "They just jump from motel to motel, because they know they can stay for free."

 

Last summer, the U.S. 192 Hotel/Motel Association filed suit against Osceola Sheriff Bob Hansell over the issue. But county leaders contend officers have no legal right to remove guests who establish permanent residency by using the motel's address to receive mail, register their children for school or obtain a driver's license.

 

The other issue, Hartford told the audience, is a humanitarian one. With a severe shortage of homeless shelters and transitional housing, the families have nowhere else to go.

 

"We have added code-enforcement officers to look at the hotel situation," the commissioner said. "But at what point do I push people out of there and onto the streets?"

 

One solution, he said, is to appeal to federal officials who award grants based on homeless counts that only include people staying in shelters, in camps or on the streets. In most of the nation, families living in hotels are only a small portion of the homeless population. In Osceola, they make up more than 25 percent.

 

Mark Waltrip, chief operating officer of Westgate Resorts and a member of the homeless commission, said there should be local money as well.

 

"I've been a longtime opponent of how the county is spending tourism [tax] dollars in this county," he said. "You have to invest some of those dollars in programs to transition those families out of homelessness."

 

Westgate has its own program — Hospitality Helps — which assists parents in finding work and safe, affordable housing. As of November, the program had moved 250 motel families into apartments.

 

Bailey said his commission is hoping to help establish additional "bridge housing" programs that will support working families while they save up the deposits necessary to get an apartment and open a bank account.

"If you think this is going to be a quick fix, it's not," Bailey said.

 

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Disneyricans??????

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Florida va de mal a Peor. Pero sigan votando por idiotas como el gobernador actual......

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La gente se creen que todo es Disney, y los que se mudan buscando mas mantengo, estan jodio porque no es facil en Florida.  

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La gente se creen que todo es Disney, y los que se mudan buscando mas mantengo, estan jodio porque no es facil en Florida.  

Mucho mas fácil en NY, NJ y Massachusetts!

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[quote name="Mobutu Sese" post="2986349" timestamp="1390506611"]Mucho mas fácil en NY, NJ y Massachusetts![/quote] You know best! Sent from my iPhone

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Mucho mas fácil en NY, NJ y Massachusetts!

 

 

Asi es y tu lo sabes, se te quedo CT, pero a muchos boricuas no les gusta el frio  y al mas al vago y al delincuente, prefieren irse al calorcito de la Florida asi trabajen limpiando toilets. 

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