Goodwill Industries of Central Florida Announces Jobs Initiative for Homeless in Orange County
In an effort to address homelessness in the region, Orange County and Goodwill Industries of Central Florida announced the launch of GoodSource Staffing Services – a temporary staffing and job placement program that will assist individuals who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of being homeless.
“Thanks to partners like Goodwill Industries, and by working with our many community partners, including the faith community, our social service and education leaders, the Regional Commission and more, we are committed to lifting our families and precious children onto the path of hope and self-sufficiency,” said Mayor Jacobs.
In addition to providing customized pre-employment training, GoodSource will screen, evaluate and place individuals with a variety of community employers. They hope to place 250 individuals in jobs within year one. Goodwill staff will identify program candidates with the help of community partner organizations and job placement specialists stationed at local shelters.
To launch the program, Goodwill is collaborating with the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness, a network of leaders that mobilizes entities dealing with homelessness and poverty issues in Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties. Mayor Jacobs co-chairs the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness.
“Helping people with barriers to employment find jobs is central to Goodwill’s mission of building lives that work,” said Bill Oakley, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Central Florida. “Joblessness and homelessness are integrally connected — and by addressing both, we can help individuals find a more sustainable path toward a better life. At the same time, employers can access on-demand staffing options to quickly fill their specific needs. It’s a win-win.”
GoodSource Staffing Services will be operated out of Goodwill’s West Orlando Job Connection and Adult Learning Center at 3200 W. Colonial Drive. It will provide qualified candidates for the following positions: accounting, customer service, light industrial, administrative assistants, clerical, data entry and file clerks.
“GoodSource Staffing Services is a historic new program that is significant and different from anything we have seen before in Central Florida,” said Andrae Bailey, CEO of the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness. “Similar to the concept of rapid re-housing, GoodSource offers rapid re-employment. A person experiencing homelessness who needs a job can go to GoodSource and start working immediately. The program’s focus on alleviating family homelessness will strengthen families and in turn, create a better community.”
Last week, Mayor Jacobs joined Florida Hospital at its announcement of the largest, one-time private donation to end chronic homelessness in Central Florida history — a momentous commitment that will change the way this unique population is cared for and supported in years to come. Lars Houmann, CEO and President of Florida Hospital, announced that Florida Hospital would generously commit $6 million over three years to address homelessness in the region.
At the Florida Hospital event, Mayor Jacobs also announced that she will lead an in-depth discussion regarding Orange County’s plan to impact homelessness as part of a scheduled Board of County Commissioners work session on Dec. 16. Orange County Government currently budgets $13.5 million towards homelessness, however, as announced at the press conference, Mayor Jacobs intends to work with the Board of County Commissioners to boost the funding to $15 million over the next three years for homeless housing, prevention and related family programs.
In addition to a proposed expansion of funding, Mayor Jacobs announced several key next steps. Working with the Central Florida Regional Commission for Homelessness, Mayor Jacobs has asked Dick Batchelor to lead a new committee focused on children and families who are homeless. Founder and President of Dick Batchelor Management Group Inc. and a longtime Central Florida resident, Batchelor is known internationally for his commitment to human rights, and renowned here at home for his tireless advocacy on behalf of children, families, domestic violence victims, our schools and more.
During his annual State of the City address, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer announced a bold goal of housing 300 of Downtown Orlando’s chronically homeless individuals in three years. The City of Orlando has committed $4 million over three years to support the “Housing First” model, a proven approach that provides housing with wrap-around supportive services to the chronic homeless.
These financial commitments are the kick-off investment of the “Impact Homeless Fund,” a new collaborative fund at the Central Florida Foundation. This fund will serve as a new public and private investment-solutions vehicle to help those facing homelessness in Orange, Osceola, and Seminole Counties.