Osceola County to get new homeless community center

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OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. —

A local church is starting a one-stop homeless center in the heart of Osceola County's busiest homeless area along US 192 in Kissimmee.

The charity is taking over the old Rancho Tequila building and will let people get help with several things, from getting food to finding jobs.

The abandoned building may not look like much, but to Kurt Radunske, it's a sign of hope that maybe one day he can stop living on the streets.

“This is not a life for anybody to live,” Radunske said. “I want a hand up, not a hand out."

The Community Presbyterian Church of Celebration hired Mary Lee Downey came up with the idea for the nearly 2,800 homeless children and their families, and the center will be the first of its kind in the area.

“We want to help as many families as we can,” Downey said.

The new Community Hope Center will help the homeless apply for housing and jobs.

 The county and several nonprofits are also lending resources.

“We are going to make sure that our clients have the most efficient services to them,” Downey said.

Last year, a similar nonprofit opened in Longwood, and plans for another homeless center are moving forward in East Orange County.

The Community Hope Center is expected to open next year.