How you can help the homeless of Orlando get a better life
By KATHY MCDANIELFox News – Orlando, Florida – On Monday, a group of local homeless families met to discuss the challenges of trying to live in a city where the homeless population is on the rise.
“I feel like we’re a little more isolated here than we were in the past,” said Sandy Loehle, a homeless mother of two.
“I’m tired of being called a n***** and a trashy mom.
That’s just not the truth.”
The group was part of a group called the Homeless Alliance of the Orlando Metropolitan Area (HAAMA), which is trying to create a model of living in a community where there is a shortage of affordable housing.HAAGA, which is comprised of roughly 60 businesses, has been working to solve the problem of homelessness in Orlando, the city where it was founded.
It’s a challenge, said HAAGA member and business owner J.J. Smith.
“People have been asking, ‘Why aren’t there any affordable housing in Orlando?’ and we’re trying to solve that,” he said.
Smith said it was a challenge to get the businesses to move because they have a history of not being able to pay rent.HAAA also has to look for other ways to help the local homeless.
“We want to help them get a second home,” Smith said.
“We want them to find a job that will pay rent.”
For Loehrle, that meant finding a new job, and getting a second job.
She said she’s not looking to move to another city.
“It’s just the reality that I’m a single mom,” she said.
Loehlet is trying her best to get her two kids back together.
She is working with her ex-husband to find another job, so she doesn’t have to worry about finding housing.
“If it was up to me, I would have been homeless before I got married,” she explained.
“That’s why I do what I do.
I don’t want to live without food or shelter,” Loehnle said.
She also said she has found a second way to support herself financially.
“One of my favorite things is I’m the oldest, so I do things that I would never have done otherwise,” Lohle said, noting she does laundry and does the dishes.