FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Heather Fagan 407.246.3423
Cassandra Lafser 407.246.2182
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Community
Volunteers Provide the Less Fortunate with IDignity
On Thursday, August 18, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer will work
side-by-side with members of his senior staff at the monthly IDignity
event. IDignity was created to help the disadvantaged in Central Florida
overcome the difficulties of obtaining the personal identification that
is crucial to enabling them to become self-sufficient. These monthly
events provide assistance in receiving Florida ID cards and licenses,
birth certificates, Social Security cards and other documents with
assistance from legal counsel.
Since its inception in May 2008, IDignity has provided assistance to
more than 7,000 un-duplicated individuals and continues to aid
approximately 225 people each month. The IDignity event is held once a
month on a Thursday at the Orlando Union Rescue Mission. For more
information, visit idignity.org.
IDignity is an integral part of Mayor Dyer’s efforts to extend help
and opportunity to our homeless population as it removes barriers for
citizens seeking to get back on their feet. One of the most significant
impediments for employment is lack of identification. It can be
frustrating and intimidating for a person to apply for forms of ID that
are necessary for them to have access to housing, apply for a job or
seek essential services. IDignity is simplifying the process by grouping
all of these vital services under one roof.
The Orlando Union Rescue Mission
410 West Central Boulevard
Thursday, August 18, 2011
BACKGROUND ON IDignity:
IDignity was formed by a coalition of Downtown churches: The
Cathedral Church of St. Luke, First Presbyterian Church of Orlando,
First United Methodist Church of Orlando, St. James Catholic Cathedral
and Trinity Lutheran Church. The IDignity team works with
representatives from the Orlando Union Rescue Mission, Homeless Services
Network, Legal Advocacy at Work, Florida Division of Driver Licenses,
Orange County Health Department, Social Security Administration and
Veterans Affairs in order to make this initiative a great success.
IDignity’s biggest needs are awareness and monetary donations.
BACKGROUND ON CITY’S COMMITMENT TO HOMELESS
- Through the Central Florida Commission on
Homelessness, 50 transitional housing units will open this year to
aid homeless individuals in achieving self-sufficiency. This will be
achieved through the following project:
- The Orlando Housing Authority’s West Oaks
Apartment community will include 50, 1-bed units to be used as
transitional housing. Residents in the transitional housing will
receive counseling and supportive services provided by Wayne
- The Central Florida Commission on Homelessness,
in partnership with Heart of Florida United Way, launched the
Homeless Children and Families Emergency Fund to provide short-term
housing assistance to families with minor children who are homeless
or about to become homeless but cannot access available community
resources for 30 days or less. Established with funding support of
$125,000 from United Way, Orlando Magic and the City of Orlando.
- The City of Orlando and Orange County have
committed $6.6 million over two years in capital funding support to
build a new Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida Men’s
Service Center. The new Men’s Service Center will offer case
management and supportive services to assist the most underserved
homeless population, men. A groundbreaking is scheduled for summer
- Ongoing support of IDignity events that assist
more than 2900 homeless individuals in 2010 obtained identification
cards, social security cards or birth certificates an essential step
in establishing self-sufficiency.
- In May 2011, the Downtown Development Board
installed Donation Stations, similar to parking meters, throughout
the Downtown Core. Downtown residents and guests can use the
Donation Stations to make charitable donations, which are collected
and go directly to support the Central Florida Commission on
Homelessness. One of the programs supported by the donation stations
will be the downtown outreach program, which provides contact and
case management to chronic homeless on the streets of downtown.
The City of Orlando secured nearly $1 million in American Recovery
and Reinvestment Act funding to provide rent and utility assistance,
permanent housing placements costs and case management to Orlando
residents through the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing
Program (HPRP) grant.
- The City is currently working with the Veterans
Administration to support their goal of obtaining 200 beds for
homeless veteran in the near future. The Coalition plans to provide
40 beds exclusively for homeless veterans.
- Every year, the City of Orlando co-sponsors with
Orange County and the Homeless Services Network for the Project
Homeless Connect event. Last year, through the event, we were able
to provide critically needed services to 1040 homeless individuals
with the help of 500 volunteers. Every year, this one day event
offers more than 50 services that are critically needed by homeless
persons in one convenient location. Services include showers,
haircuts, meals, shelter, employment opportunities, mental health
and substance abuse services, Florida ID cards, birth certificate
applications, access to Social Security for claims and replacement
cards, legal services and medical care.
- A key commitment of the Community Venues projects
was the creation of the BLUEPRINT, a model for how communities
nationwide can leverage public projects to create local jobs and
local business growth. One of the goals of the BLUEPRINT was to
increase job opportunities for a target population of Parramore
residents, homeless and ex-offenders.
- Through the BLUEPRINT Employment Office:
- More than 1700 Central Floridians have been
placed in jobs through the BLUEPRINT Employment Office.
- Of those, more than 560 are from the
target population of Parramore residents, the homeless and