Hope in Motion: Central Florida woman walking hundreds of miles to raise awareness for the homeless

Hope in Motion: Central Florida woman walking hundreds of miles to raise awareness for the homeless

ORLANDO, Fla. — With each step around Lake Eola, Anissa King hopes to get closer to her goal of raising money and awareness for homelessness.

“It could be us...It could be me. It could be you,” King says.

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King’s plan is to walk 30 laps around Lake Eola over eight days.

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She set up a Facebook page and GoFundMe account with the goal of raising $10,000 for the Coalition for the Homeless.

Members of the coalition walked with her Friday.

“Really humbled and inspired by what she’s doing,” coalition member Meredith Bekemeyer said.

Before the pandemic, there were an estimated 2,000 homeless people in Orange, Osceola, and Seminole Counties. Right now, the coalition says they’re helping about 500 per day.

“We’re finding that they need us more than ever right now,” Bekemeyer says.

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Because of the pandemic, helping the homeless has become more expensive, which is why the coalition is happy to get the help from King.

She says a homeless friend, John Johnson, inspired the walk.

“He was at the lowest end, living in the woods off of Mercy Drive,” King recalls. “He still chose to be happy.”

King says they were able to transition Johnson into housing before he passed away of heart failure in 2019.

By the end of her walk, King will have traveled 238 miles, the equivalent of walking from Orlando to Miami.

Anyone interested in joining or supporting the walk can send an email to hopeinmotionorlando@gmail.com.