H.O.P.E. Team - Homeless Outreach Partnership Effort
For many reasons, some people in our community unfortunately experience homelessness and are in desperate need of services. Often, they may not seek out or know where to find services that can assist them out of homelessness. Becoming homeless for any length of time is a traumatic event, and can negatively impact mental, physical, and social health. This is where homeless outreach is vital.Since 2001, Health Care Center for the Homeless (HCCH) has been providing homeless outreach in Orange, Seminole, and Osceola county through the H.O.P.E. Team (Homeless Outreach Partnership Effort). Staffed by a diverse team of outreach specialists, veterans, licensed mental health & medical providers, and volunteers, the Team works where people experiencing homelessness live and survive- on the streets, in encampments and shelters, and in the woods. Trained in Motivational Interviewing, Trauma-Informed Care, Harm Reduction, and Diversion, their main goal is to engage and build trust with people experiencing homelessness, assess their needs and eligibility, and connect them to services.Among the many services the HOPE Team provides are: linkage and transportation to medical and mental health/substance use treatment appointments, referrals to shelter/food/clothing, eligibility assessments for housing assistance, obtaining identification cards & birth certificates, family re-unification, linkage to VA services for veterans, and assistance in accessing mainstream benefits.In addition to directly engaging with people experiencing homelessness, The HOPE Team also works to increase awareness of available services and efforts by collaborating with city and county agencies, local for-profit & non-profit businesses, local charities, homeless shelters, food banks, faith-based organizations, law enforcement, and concerned citizens. If you, or someone you know or have seen, is experiencing homelessness, call 407-757-2914.
Photos courtesy of James Florio Copyright 2011 and Alyssa Marie Aviles Copyright 2013