• Former Clermont bed and breakfast now housing the homeless


    CLERMONT, Fla. - A former bed and breakfast in Clermont is being used to help families that have fallen on hard times.

    The Victorian-style house, built in 1925, has been transformed into transitional housing for the homeless.

    The five-bedroom, 2,500 square foot house, formerly known as the Bicycle Inn, now has five families calling it home.

    Steve Smith, president of New Beginnings, said the inn was a popular spot for athletes visiting the area.

    "A lot of triathletes came over here," said Smith.

    But when the owner of the Montrose Street home ran into financial problems the inn was shut down.

    A few weeks ago it was transformed into a place for those who have no place of their own.

    "They've lost their jobs, they need a place to get rehabilitated, call it a new beginning," said Smith.

    The house includes a laundry room and an area where they can do job searches on the house computer.

    The project is part of a program through New Beginnings and hosts families until they can get back on their feet.

    "(It gives them a chance to) get employment, save money and get out on their own to a private facility," said Smith.

    The families can stay at the house for up to nine months, rent free.

    "We were very blessed Lake County gave us a grant to do all the renovations required," said Smith.

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