Central Fla. Commission on Homelessness works to rebuild reputation

Updated:

CENTRAL FLORIDA, Fla. —

The Central Florida Commission on Homelessness is on a mission to rebuild its reputation.

In July, the executive director left after WFTV discovered the commission was struggling to meet some of its key goals.

The front page of the commission's website prominently displays the board's goal: "End homelessness in the region within the next 10 years."

But WFTV learned Thursday that won't be part of the mission this time around.

"The commission started with an unattainable mission," said new board member Mark Waltrip. "You can't solve homelessness, ever. There will always be people ebbing and flowing."

For the past several months, WFTV reported how the commission has fallen under criticism, first for the former executive director's salary of $125,000, out of a $535,000 budget. And secondly for not holding a meeting for six months during the first part of 2012, all while homelessness rose 75 percent since the board started.

"I think we can achieve better results in the current environment," said Waltrip.

Waltrip said the commission has until February to come up with a new business plan and mission.

Part of that plan includes nonprofit status, which the board didn't have for the first five years, even though it relied on government and private donations.

"We're now working around the clock to build the pieces of that so that we can actually build something that is meaningful and sustainable," said Waltrip.

The commission plans to operate on a $900,000 budget over three years.

WFTV also learned a new executive director won't be appointed until the commission has a new plan in place.