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Women’s and children’s shelter set to reopen at Orlando Salvation Army

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Salvation Army Orlando Area Command is providing a beacon of hope for families in Central Florida.

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“Many times, it’s the difference between life and death,” Ken Chapman, The Salvation Army’s Area Commander, said.

The Women’s and Children’s Shelter reopened Wednesday for the first time in nearly 3 years.

The $3.5 million project was mainly funded by Orange County.

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Now, sitting on the Salvation Army’s 8-acre property is a building filled with 66 beds, a remodeled dining room and kitchen, a washroom, and a safe room for the LGBTQ community.

Orlando Commissioner Regina Hill said the space will provide more than a roof over heads.

“It’s where hope is nurtured,” Hill said. “Lives are rebuilt for every woman and child who has found refuge within these walls.”

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Across the region, there are about 900 shelter beds.

Just in the last month, the Homeless Services Network of Central Florida said 1,800 people were looking for help across the system and many were newly homeless.

It’s a need this new shelter is hoping to fill for women and children.

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“We do everything we can to make them feel safe and at home,” Chapman said. ‘That gives them a hope for the future. We’re going to break multi-generational cycles.”

The shelter will start accepting women and children next week.

Individuals in need just have to show up at the door and The Salvation Army will do what it can to provide shelter.

By July, The Salvation Army hopes to start renovations on the $7.5 million men’s shelter project. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer pledged a portion of the city’s ARPA funds will go towards that project.

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