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Years of Hope

“She would give me hugs to let me know it was going to be okay.” TRACY AND AVA’S STORY

y r a s r e iv sue n An Is

Dear Friends, I am tremendously fortunate to hold the position of President/CEO at such a special time for the Coalition: our 30th anniversary! On February 27, 1987, we were incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and through your support, we have spent the last 30 years transforming the lives of Central Florida’s most vulnerable men, women, and children.


In this issue of Connect, you will find a timeline of major events in the Coalition’s history – events that you made possible. In 1988, we opened a 70-bed shelter in the former Trailways bus station. Though it was originally meant to shelter single men, we noticed the growing problem of homeless families and looked for a solution. So, in 1990, we purchased the 3.3-acre site on Central Boulevard where we are still located today. The Men’s Pavilion was completed in 1992, followed by the Center for Women and Families the next year. To better serve single women, both with and without children, we assumed operating responsibility of the Women’s Residential and Counseling Center in 1996. And, most recently, in 2014, we said goodbye to the Men’s Pavilion and opened the Men’s Service Center, finally offering single men the full range of life-changing programs and services we’d offered to women and families for so long. We couldn’t have done any of it without you.

Our mission is to transform the lives of homeless men, women and children by providing crucial services to end their crisis of homelessness. You make it possible.

Thank you for all that you do. Whether donating your time, talent, or treasure, you are the reason we’ve had the honor of touching thousands of lives each year for three decades. With you by our side, the Coalition’s future shines bright. Gratefully,

John E. Hearn President/CEO P.S. Thank you for making our 2016 Chain of Hope holiday campaign a success! You gave us a great start to the new year.

Admi adrenaline media, inc. R EDE FINI NG


This newsletter is generously sponsored by Adrenaline Media, Inc.

S AV E T H E D AT E APRIL 28, 2017

21st Annual Doug Spencer Golf Challenge At Falcon’s Fire Golf Club, golfers will compete to see who can play the most holes in five hours – all to raise money for the Coalition! Players solicit flat donations and per hole pledges from friends, family, and business associates and are asked to raise a minimum of $1,500. Visit CENTRALFLORIDAHOMELESS.ORG to become a golfer or sponsor today!

M AY 1 2 , 2 0 1 7 Hearts of Gold Presented by Reed Nissan Now in its 24th year, Hearts of Gold is unlike any other fundraiser in the community, and this year’s event will be a particularly special occasion — a spectacular musical celebration of the Coalition’s 30th anniversary. The night will begin with complimentary beverages and hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction, and a raffle, followed by a phenomenal concert.

Board of Directors Chairman Douglas M. Spencer Spencer Consulting Services Vice Chair Christopher C. Brockman Holland & Knight LLP Secretary T. Todd Pittenger Akerman LLP Treasurer Mindy Willis Orlando Utilities Commission President/CEO John E. Hearn Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida, Inc. Steven Alexander, PFM Asset Management, LLC Brooke R. Bonnett, City of Orlando Bakari F. Burns, Health Care Center for the Homeless, Inc. Fara K. Dantzler, Wells Fargo Bank N.A. Eric David, Expedia Local Expert Miranda F. “Randi” Fitzgerald, Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A. Jim Fritz, Orlando Magic Eric D. Gassman, Orange County Government Kris M. Gault, iHeartMedia

Aaron Hill, Reed Nissan Christine S. Kefauver, HDR, Inc. Fred R. Kittinger, Jr., University of Central Florida Ben Lalikos, IBERIABANK Ronald R. Lamb, SunTrust Bank Meagan Martin, Baker & Hostetler LLP Sean A. McLaughlin, Sungate Capital LLC Michael Miller, CAPA Centre for Aviation Lee Nimkoff, Brio Properties Elena H. Norman, Wyndham Vacation Ownership, Inc. Stacey A. Prince-Troutman, Broad and Cassel John Rivers, 4R Restaurant Group Ty G. Roofner, Burr & Forman LLP John R. “Rick” Schooler, Orlando Health Samuel C. “Trip” Stephens III, ZOM, Inc. Jane Tebbe-Shemelya, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Richard G. “Rick” Wack, Mediation Services of Central Florida, Inc. Richard C. “Rich” Wahl, Findsome & Winmore Michael Weinberg, HFF, L.P. Brian T. Wilson, Dellecker Wilson King McKenna Ruffier & Sos, LLP Mark Woodbury, Universal Parks & Resorts Erin Trabel Youngs, Walt Disney World Resort Aaron Zandy, Ford & Harrison LLP 1

How it all began.

Years of hope

In 1985, the First United Methodist Church of Orlando began allowing homeless individuals to seek shelter in their courtyard. Noting the growing problem of homelessness in our community, they joined with other downtown inter-faith organizations to work toward a solution, and the Coalition was formed. These are just a few of the many milestones along the way...



We opened the Men’s Pavilion, a 12,000-square-foot facility that provided food and shelter for up to 500 men, as well as nine Transitional Apartments.

We purchased the 3.3-acre site on Central Boulevard and Parramore Avenue from the city and county, where the Coalition campus exists today.

The Coalition became the first shelter in the nation with an onsite Boys and Girls Club.

We changed our name to Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida, Inc.

1993 We opened the 30,000-squarefoot Center for Women and Families (CWF) to accommodate up to 240 people. The inaugural Hearts of Gold event took place.


1987 Coalition for the Homeless of Orlando, Inc. was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The Coalition’s first employee, Jean Worrall, was hired.

1988 The Coalition opened a 70-bed shelter on the corner of Hughey Avenue and Central Boulevard at the former Trailways bus station.

1994 We opened The Nurturing Center, a daycare facility for infants and young children, on the Coalition campus. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE u


1996 The Coalition assumed operating responsibility of the Women’s Residential and Counseling Center (WRCC). The Orlando Magic and SunTrust sponsored the first Thanksgiving for the residents.

2012 We celebrated the start of the Men’s Service Center (MSC) construction with a formal groundbreaking ceremony.

2014 The very first group of 250 men moved into the MSC, and demolition of the Men’s Pavilion was completed.


2009 We implemented a First Steps Substance Abuse Recovery Program for Women and welcomed the first 10 participants at the CWF.

2015 On January 28, we held the official Grand Opening Ceremony for the MSC.

1997 The First Annual Coalition Golf Challenge — now the Doug Spencer Golf Challenge — raised $75,000.

1998 A grand opening was held for the Daycare Center at WRCC.

2002 The first case managed drug and alcohol rehabilitation program, First Steps, opened in the Men’s Pavilion. The deed to WRCC was turned over to the Coalition.

2004 Made possible by a generous grant from Dr. Phillips Charities, we began a Child Development Program.

2003 The Art by Coalition Children (ABCs) Committee formed to expose homeless children to the arts by bringing in professional artists each month.

2016 On an average night, we served 577 men, women, and children. We provided over 271,000 meals.

And today, in 2017...

We are celebrating our 30th anniversary — thanks to you! What began as a church outreach program for homeless men has grown into a full-service agency, providing crucial programs and services to our community’s most vulnerable men, women, and children. We couldn’t have done it without you.

TRACY AND AVA’S fter going through a divorce, Tracy felt that she and her two-year-old daughter, Ava, needed a fresh start. So, she packed them up, took a “leap of faith” and moved from Baltimore to Orlando to begin the next chapter of their lives. When they arrived in Central Florida, they stayed at a hotel while Tracy searched for housing and job opportunities. Unfortunately, their savings began running out faster than Tracy had anticipated. Before long, she was facing the reality of being homeless — with a toddler. A resource list brought Tracy and Ava to the Coalition’s Center for Women and Families (CWF). Tracy says, “I was just so glad that we could have a place to stay, because I had to check out of the hotel the next day. After a staff member gave me a tour, I was just relieved.” “I actually come from a case management background. I was a case manager in behavioral health, and my last position was in substance abuse and alcohol. So, I know the transition to going back out into the community, to get employment, housing, and the whole nine yards. It’s the same thing at the Coalition.” 6

Tracy was assigned a case manager, Ramon Mercado, who guided her through the process of getting back on her feet. She says, “He really cares and has a passion for what he does. I came in knowing that it was a shelter, but I didn’t expect them to have so many services.” “Ramon gave me a list of things “I wasn’t here to I had to do like get my Florida sit around. It was Driver’s License, apply for now time to get Medicaid, get Food Stamps. The list would just go on and on. It the help that I was a process in the beginning, needed so I could but I was ready. I wasn’t here to start rebuilding.” sit around. It was now time to get the help that I needed so I could start rebuilding. So, I jumped at the opportunity.” With that determination to transform her life, Tracy went out to network and look for employment. “Every day I would go to the public library, the Blueprint Employment Office, and the Coalition’s Employment Lab - anywhere I could go to get access to a computer and work on my resume.” While she was out, Ava was thriving in our on-site daycare. “It was so hard to be away from her, but everything I do, I do for her. She was so strong. She would give me hugs to let me know it was going to be okay.”

STORY OF HOPE One day when she was running errands, she found a nearby apartment complex and inquired about living there. “The gentleman that worked there told me that after I get a job, they have a housing program that’s based on your income. I put myself on the waiting list and then I went about my business.”

“My life has been an emotional rollercoaster, but it is all worth it. I was so happy to be able to finally have my own place and furnish my apartment in time for Christmas. Ava’s room is the bigger one because I thought that she deserved it. It’s painted pink and decorated in her favorite Disney character, Minnie Mouse. ”

Within weeks, Tracy got the good news that she was approved for the apartment and was able to move in. “The only thing I had to do was get the money to move in. I get child support and I was starting a new job the next Monday. I knew that it was going to be okay and that something would work out.”

Reflecting on how this experience has changed her, Tracy says, “I think the Coalition was where I needed to be at the time. When I look back, I’m able to see where I started out in Orlando and see where I’m going. I’m thankful for the way everything has happened since I came to Florida. There’s definitely been adversity, but it has changed me to be a stronger and more courageous person than I was a few months ago.”

Shortly after moving into their apartment, Tracy started her job with AmeriCorps, a national service program where citizens support community efforts to overcome poverty. She currently works for an organization that provides resources and activities in low-income neighborhoods. She says, “I feel like my role in my new job has helped me tap into skills that I didn’t think I had in me. I never thought I could speak in public, coordinate events or keep up with reporting for grants. I also discovered that I have a passion for helping people solve problems. I knew that when I was a case manager, but now I actually am the one going out into low income areas and helping build up the community.”

Each day, your generosity makes stories like Tracy and Ava’s possible. Thank you for helping us change lives. For more Stories of Hope, follow us on Facebook: FB.COM/COALITIONFORTHEHOMELESS 6

A Life of Service Nancy Trinchitella began serving Central Florida’s homeless before the Coalition even existed. In 1985, Nancy’s church, Asbury United Methodist, joined the growing legion of inter-faith organizations dedicated to helping our neighbors in need. These churches would go on to form the Coalition in 1987, and many remain involved to this day, including Nancy and Asbury United Methodist Church. In the very beginning, operations were based in First United Methodist Church of Orlando’s Fellowship Hall. Nancy and her group would prepare dinner on Fridays, stay the night, and rise early to serve breakfast on Saturday mornings. “I remember the first night we volunteered in the Fellowship Hall and seeing the people lay down their mats. They were just so grateful to be off the street and out of the elements,” she recalls. “It was impactful to me because I had never been exposed to so many people in need before,” she says. “I was more aware of how blessed I was and it made me want to continue giving back.” These days, Nancy and Asbury United Methodist Church serve dinner quarterly at the Center for Women and Families. “What I like most about volunteering is the friendliness and kindness that I see from the residents when we serve them meals.” “I appreciate the United Methodist Church’s focus on serving the community and strengthening it by connecting us with those in need. I always like to give back in service to others because it removes imagined barriers that we think are there.”

“They were just so grateful to be off the street and out of the elements.”

If you have a passion for helping others, there are many opportunities to volunteer at the Coalition. Individuals and groups of all sizes can serve meals, help out in our daycare, sort donations, and much more. For more information, contact Kristen Pena, Director of Community Engagement, at

Celebrating 30 Years of Hope 30 years. Nearly 120,000 lives touched. Over 5-million nights of shelter provided and over 7-million meals served. The 1987 Society was formed in honor of Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida’s 30th anniversary. What began as a church outreach program for homeless men has grown into a full-service agency, providing a variety of transformational programs and services to our community’s most vulnerable men, women, and children. Through the support of compassionate individuals and companies, the Coalition has been able to evolve and adapt to the changing needs – and the changing faces – of the homeless. The 1987 Society not only celebrates the achievements of the past three decades, but, more importantly, it ensures that the Coalition will continue making an impact well into the future. To join The 1987 Society is to make an investment in our community and all those who call it home. As we look toward the next decade and beyond, we ask you to help us change the next 120,000 lives, provide the next 5-million nights of shelter, and serve the next 7-million meals. We can’t do it without you. Our goal is to raise $500,000 by the end of 2017 through The 1987 Society. Gifts of $5,000 and above will be recognized on a commemorative donor wall. We have pre-set giving levels, including the $30,000 Diamond Level in celebration of the 30th anniversary, though we simply ask that you give any amount that is meaningful to you. Together, we can provide a safe place for those in need for years to come. For more information, contact: Tracie Morris, Director of Marketing & Development 407.426.1265

Grants $250,000+ Heart of Florida United Way $40,000 - $50,000 Al and Nancy Burnett Charitable Foundation Anonymous Foundation $20,000 - $30,000 Bank of America Charitable Foundation Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation

Thank you for making our work possible. $10,000 - $15,000 VNA Foundation JC Foundation TD Charitable Foundation Charles R. Jelm Charitable Foundation Wells Fargo Corporate Giving Chesley G. Magruder Foundation Ryan Foundation $5,000 - $9,000 Synchrony Financial Holloway Family Foundation

Staples Foundation TJX Foundation Margaret & R. Parks Williams Charitable Foundation Charles Schwab Foundation $2,000 - $2,500 Bond Foundation Harry P. Leu Foundation Charles Hosmer Morse Foundation


Hearts gold of





CONNECT | 30th Anniversary Issue  

In this issue of Connect, the Coalition celebrates 30 years of hope, thanks to our generous community.

CONNECT | 30th Anniversary Issue  

In this issue of Connect, the Coalition celebrates 30 years of hope, thanks to our generous community.