Orange County

Orlando City Council approves funds to help those battling homeless after Hurricane Ian

ORLANDO, Fla. — Many people in Central Florida are on the brink of homelessness because of Hurricane Ian.

On Monday, the City of Orlando discussed homelessness during its city council meeting.

City leaders approved more than $600,000 to address those concerns.


The city says the funds will be used for its rapid rehousing program.

Orlando resident Miriam Alicea lost her home during Hurricane Ian and said this money will mean a lot to people in need.

Alicea was one of the first people in line at this disaster recovery center when it opened in October and visited five times since in order to FEMA funding to replace her belongings and find somewhere new to live.

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“It looked like they got tired of me. ‘Just give her her benefits.’,” Alicea said.

FEMA gave Alicea got just under $3,000 to find a new place to live but as she waited on that help, she said she was homeless and was forced to couch surf.

“I didn’t have no choice. I didn’t have no choice. Either that or be in the streets,” Alicea said.

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Pastor David Swanson has worked to address homelessness for years and told Channel 9 that those most impacted by the storm were already one paycheck away from homelessness.

“It just took a vast walk of those people and push them over that cliff,” Swanson said.

Alicea told Channel 9 that she recently put down a security deposit for an apartment that she is set to move into next week.

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“I’m going to live on the third floor. Ain’t no storm getting me this time,” Alicea said.

The money the city council approved on Monday is going to be used to rehouse about 20 to 30 families.

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