Orlando City Council approves plan to improve, expand homeless services in Parramore

ORLANDO, Fla. — Homeless shelters and services in Orlando’s Parramore area are set to expand.


The move is a part of an overall effort to combat homelessness in the city, but it’s been met with mixed reviews.

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City leaders and homeless advocates say the project is well overdue. However, some Parramore residents say it’s a step in the wrong direction.

64-year-old widow Ellen Moffitt says she feels fortunate  to be on a fixed income, but finding a place to sleep at night on her budget has been a struggle.

“I’m sleeping in a chair. I’m homeless,” Moffitt said. “One company charged me 75 dollars for an application fee just to reject me, and you don’t get that back.”

Orlando City Council members are hoping the plan they passed Monday will help people like Moffitt.

The project expands the Salvation Army, Homeless Coalition, and Christian Service Center of Central Florida, which are all located in Parramore.

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Some of the people who live in the area say the plan is problematic.

“You’re building up new apartments and then you see the homeless people, and people are like, ‘I don’t want to stay over here’ because of the homeless people,” resident Deandre Harrell said.

Harrell’s opinion was echoed by several others at Monday’s meeting.

Moffitt sees things differently. She says she believes what you put into people, you’ll get out.

“Homeless people want a job. They want a roof over their heads,” Moffitt said. “But when you’re homeless, you feel down, your self-esteem goes with that homelessness.”

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Several people against the project mentioned an old ordinance that keeps the city from building new homeless facilities in Parramore.

City Commissioner Regina Hill, whose District includes the Parramore area, says the plan doesn’t violate that ordinance because it only enhances the facilities and services already in place without adding more shelters or service providers.

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