Despite pandemic challenges, local charity continues work helping young adults land on their feet

ORLANDO, Fla. — Despite a host of challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic, an Orlando charity is continuing its work assisting kids who have aged out of foster care.

For these young adults- who often end up homeless- The Faine House in Orlando can provide a roof, a bed, and much more.

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However, Faine House founder and former NFL player Jeff Faine says COVID-19 has had a major impact on that mission.

“It’s been challenging for a lot of the residents and a lot of the staff to be able to engage like you typically would in the past,” Faine says.

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He says they had to stop admitting new residents when the pandemic started, and had to rethink how they fulfill their mission helping young adults find jobs, education, and a path forward in life.

“I think a majority of folks that have found success in business in this environment...they’re pivoting and finding ways to be able to make a difference and make an impact,” Faine says. “Same thing here...We’ve got to pivot to figure out a way to continue to make an impact beyond our four walls.”

Faine says they also had to get creative with their fundraising.

Their annual “Evening of Hope” Gala went virtual in 2020, and has already been cancelled for 2021.

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However, their annual “Run for Hope” 5K is still scheduled for January 23. Faine says it won’t raise as much as the gala, but it will help fill the funding gap.

“It’s real easy while everybody’s dealing with what’s going on for us to kind of forget that there’s certainly folks that are needing help,” Faine adds.

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Jeff Faine was adopted as a baby, avoiding foster care. He says the Faine House exists partly because he realizes he was more lucky than most.

Faine eventually graduated from Seminole High School, played football at Notre Dame, and spent 10 years in the NFL, including, four with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Faine says he wanted to give others a little bit of the stability he enjoyed in life, and his organization is already thinking of ways to expand that goal beyond the pandemic.

“We actually think things are going to be a little bit different in life, and in general,” Faine says. “So how can we continue to make an impact with the residents inside the actual structure, but also look beyond our four walls and look to see how we can provide a lot of these services that the general community is needing more now than ever?”

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There are still slots available for anyone who wants to run or walk in their 5k. They’re also bringing back their annual golf event later this year, and they’re always accepting donations.

For more information on the Faine House, its services and how to contribute, click here.

Joe Kepner

Joe Kepner,

I unloaded the U-Haul in Orlando in 2008, just in time to cover the Magic's run to the 2009 NBA Finals.