ORLANDO, Fla. (Aug. 6, 2020) – The transformation of a former four-unit, 4,200 sq. ft. condo building in Seminole County, Fla. will soon serve as an Emergency Shelter and Safe House for human trafficking survivors. Through a partnership between HomeAid Orlando and The Lifeboat Project, volunteer building industry partners donate their expertise, materials and labor to rehabilitate and build new spaces to serve homeless families and individuals. This is the first project for HomeAid Orlando began Aug. 5 with a target completion date of Sept. 11, 2020.
Human trafficking occurs every day. It’s there, just hard to spot. Florida is the third most active state of an epidemic affecting more than 23,000 people per year.* Not just sex trafficking, but labor trafficking in agriculture, restaurant, construction, domestic work, entertainment and other industries. Survivors who escape the abusive networks often have nowhere to go and no one to help them. The Lifeboat Project provides comprehensive services such as counseling, housing, educational support, and job placement.
"This will be one of just a few emergency shelter and safe house facilities strictly designated for victims of human trafficking in the U.S.," said Jill Bolander Cohen, founder and CEO of The Lifeboat Project.
The new Emergency Shelter and Safe House will serve up to 14 survivors at a time. Each survivor is paired with a case manager/victim advocate from The Lifeboat Project to create a care plan. Through a dedicated staff and network of local partners, The Lifeboat Project provides wraparound services such as legal, health care and counseling for all survivors.
“Supportive services are offered to maximize housing stability and prevent future homelessness. This approach provides a safe and stable place to help improve their mental, physical and financial situations and to achieve healthy independence,” Cohen continued.
Park Square Homes serves as the volunteer Project Builder Captain and has donated goods and services totaling more than $125,000. Suppliers and vendor partners donated 100% of the construction costs for this project to include new cabinetry, counters, plumbing, HVAC, electrical systems, new appliances, interior trim, exterior repairs, landscaping, flooring, paint and more.
“HomeAid Orlando was created to leverage the power and resourcefulness of the Central Florida residential building industry to work alongside with worthy nonprofit organizations and our local governments to provide direct tangible solutions for those in need,” commented Russ Beymer, executive director of HomeAid Orlando.
Rebuilding communities is something we all can do. Whether it is providing financial resources or volunteering, we all work best as a team. We encourage community members and corporations alike to donate whatever resources they can to HomeAid Orlando. It takes leadership from men and women who share our vision of building hope and homes. No one is immune from homelessness and every man, woman and child should have a safe, dignified place to live.
“Central Florida isn't just a place where we build homes, it's the place we call home, and have for more than 25 years. Which is why we proudly support local charities and outreach organizations that help improve our community. It's our way of giving back to the place that has given us so much,” noted Vishaal Gupta, co-CEO of Park Square Homes.
Follow the renovation process via social media on Facebook, Twitter and Linked using #HomeAidOrlando.
In late 2019, HomeAid Orlando launched as the 20th chapter of HomeAid America. Through housing development and community outreach, the mission is to help those experiencing homelessness to build new lives. The work is made possible through the generosity of home builders, trade partners, industry service providers and individuals. HomeAid works with reputable and impactful nonprofit organizations that need additional capacity to provide housing, resources and services to people experiencing homelessness. HomeAid connects nonprofits with building industry partners, who donate their expertise, materials and labor to rehabilitate and build new spaces to serve homeless families and individuals. Learn more at www.homeaidorlando.com.
*Reported by the Polaris project 2018. Note: it is estimated 90% of cases are never reported, thereby masking the much larger true scope of this issue.
For remote and live executive interviews, contact Laura E. Richeson, APR at 407.616.8108 or Laura@RichesonCommunicaitons.com.
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