Eric Welch, CFRE, Vice President
Recently, I had the pleasure of volunteering with the Veterans Surge program, sponsored by the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness. This coordinated effort between volunteers, nonprofits, and government entities at multiple levels aimed to end veterans’ homelessness in Orlando. My assignment was to document the clients that arrived at the Samaritan Resource Center in East Orlando. Around 20 homeless individuals showed up for free morning breakfast at 9 a.m., and I was stunned to find their actual needs ranged from cell phone cords to dog food. I was reminded that no one chooses to be homeless and that mental illness is a cause of chronic homelessness.
At Dave’s House we continue to spearhead the local effort of permanent supportive housing by creating homes that result in a meaningful life of lasting recovery. At our upcoming Happy Days Soiree in October, we will add to our programming to directly address the issue of chronic homelessness by supporting the efforts to take individuals directly off the street and place them in permanent, supportive housing. Dave’s House is honored to have generous partners like Wells Fargo, Orange County, Pathway Homes, Aspire Health Partners, and every day we cultivate new relationships so we can all do our part to solve this crisis. Mayors Jacobs and Dyer continue to lead the community, and our board of directors continues to engage other community players, to keep the needs of those with mental illness at the forefront of local discussions.
Perhaps our mission is best represented in the words of one of our newest residents, Tim. He's excited for future opportunities and is making the most of every day. "If I could say anything to myself two years ago, it would be, 'Just wait to see the opportunities that are going to be available to you. Don't give up.'"
Thank you for all you do to help those like Tim,