Increased needs, decreased funding

Brent Trotter, CEO of Coalition for the Homeless

In the midst of massive layoffs, foreclosures and increased costs of living, many are finding themselves swallowed by a seemingly hopeless situation. As they fall farther behind in credit card statements, utility bills, and mortgage or rent payments, hard-working parents and other individuals are realizing that despite their efforts, they cannot conquer their circumstances alone.

In Central Florida, the Coalition is here to meet the needs of families and individuals who need assistance on the road to self-sufficiency. Last year we served over 4,600 men, women and children, each bringing a unique story and set of needs.

Unfortunately, many homeless service providers around the country are facing both a surge in demand and a decrease in funding.

MSNBC addresses this issue in a recent article:

“Shelters and related services for the homeless are facing funding shortfalls as the downturn takes its toll on state budgets and corporate donations. And while individual donors in many cases are keeping up gifts…the service providers say they are faced with a rapidly growing demand from people losing jobs and homes in the economic crisis.”

"...our community has proven that they are willing to support the Coalition in providing aid to their struggling neighbors."

As we face this present crisis along with thousands of nonprofits nationwide, I feel cautiously optimistic that we can continue offering our services to those in need in Central Florida.  Though decreases in funding could certainly affect our ability to provide services, we have been able to hold our own so far, thanks to the many individuals, corporations, philanthropies, and volunteers who are so dedicated to what we do. In fact, the Coalition receives over 70% of our resources from the private sector.

Should things get worse before they get better, there is always the possibility we will have to reduce services – or come to the community for even more support.  However, since we began in 1987, our community has proven that they are willing to support the Coalition in providing aid to their struggling neighbors.  Based on that history, I am confident that our community will continue to give, both of themselves and from their pocketbooks, in spite of the state of the economy.

The generosity of our partners, community businesses, individuals and faith-based organizations is what helps us help others – and I truly believe that Central Florida will continue to display overwhelming kindness to their neighbors in need.