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Orange County grants $519K to nonprofit helping homeless adults with mental health issues

Demetrius Gaskin is a Pathlight staff member at the Pathways Drop In Center in Orlando. Photo: Muffet Robinson
Muffet Robinson
Demetrius Gaskin is a Pathlight staff member at the Pathways Drop In Center in Orlando.

The County Commission approved the use of American Rescue Plan funds for Pathlight HOME, which says it will provide housing for more than 600 people in Orlando.

A Central Florida nonprofit serving homeless people can double its outreach to those with mental health issues using a COVID-19 relief grant from Orange County.
The County Commission approved the use of $519,080 in American Rescue Plan funds on Tuesday.

Muffet Robinson with Pathlight HOME says it provide housing for more than 600 otherwise homeless people in Orlando, along with case management and employment assistance.

In July, the nonprofit added the Pathways Drop In Center at 1313 30th St., where it has food, showers, case management and peer support for 30 homeless adults diagnosed with a mental health disorder.

“The need,” she said, “is so critical for homeless people who also have mental illness in our community. I’d say about 80% of homeless people have a mental illness.”

Robinson said that with this grant the center will serve 50 to 65 people a day with everything from telemedicine and transportation to counseling and meals.

“Mostly we will be able to offer them peer services,” she said. “If you’ve been there before, you’re one of the best people to help others get out of those situations.”

The grant runs through Jan. 31, 2023.

Copyright 2022 WMFE.

Joe Byrnes