Head of Central Florida Salvation Army asking Kissimmee mayor for public apology for comments

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — The head of the Central Florida Salvation Army is now asking the mayor of Kissimmee to publicly apologize after she said the organization doesn’t do much for homeless people in the city.

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Earlier this month, the commission voted down three proposals from local nonprofits, including The Salvation Army, to provide services at a homeless shelter in Osceola County.

In a letter asking for an apology from Olga Gonzalez, area commander Ken Chapman wrote: “We are stunned and distressed that an elected leader of your stature would purposefully attack any nonprofit that works to improve our community, much less a charity like The Salvation Army which has a long history of dedicated service in Kissimmee and throughout the world.

READ: Kissimmee leaders shoot down proposal for homeless shelter. Here’s what officials decided instead

Chapman wrote in Osceola County alone, The Salvation Army never closed its doors and during the pandemic in 2020, served over 19,000 hot meals and provided 41,144 grocery bags to needy families and provided 1,500 hot showers.

Chapman asked that the mayor apologize at the next commission meeting, which is Tuesday night.

READ: Seminole County commissioners to approve nearly $3 million to help homeless shelter

Channel 9 reached out to Gonzalez to see if she would apologize, but has not heard back.

The city of Kissimmee has decided to look at building a shelter of its own.

READ: Homeless Coalition of Central Florida hands fresh Thanksgiving meals out to families in need

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Shannon Butler

Shannon Butler, WFTV.com

Shannon joined the Eyewitness News team in 2013.

Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.