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As 2014 nears its end, I am so proud of what you have helped our organization achieve this year. Through your support, more than 600 people had a place to sleep each night. Over 300,000 meals were served. Adults had access to counseling, educational programs, and job skills training. Children were safely enrolled in our nurturing on-site daycare and Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten class. But when I look back on 2014 years from now, one thing will stand out in my mind: the opening of the Men’s Service Center. For the first time in our history, single men – the most underserved segment of the homeless population – have access to the case management and critical services that we’ve always provided to women, children, and families. Veterans are assigned special case managers to help them access the benefits they earned serving our country. This is a seismic shift for both our organization and our community at large. I couldn’t be more proud or honored to have been part of this dream becoming a reality, or more thankful for all of those who made it possible. It has also been inspiring to watch the Chain of Hope grow in our front lobby this holiday season, and it’s doubly exciting to know that the gifts are being matched by a generous donor. As always, your support is at the very top of our holiday wish-list, and there has never been a better time to give. I wish you all very Happy Holidays and a prosperous New Year! I can’t wait to see where 2015 takes us.




Brent A. Trotter President/CEO P.S. Read more about the Men’s Service Center on Page 4.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Chairman Elena H. Norman Hilton Grand Vacations Vice Chair Samuel C. “Trip” Stephens III ZOM, Inc. Secretary Douglas M. Spencer Spencer Consulting Services Treasurer John E. Hearn Orlando Utilities Commission President/CEO Brent A. Trotter Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida, Inc. Timothy R. Baker, AIA, Baker Barrios Architects, Inc. Christopher C. Brockman, Holland & Knight LLP Bakari F. Burns, Health Care Center for the Homeless, Inc. Fara K. Dantzler, Wells Fargo Bank N.A. Eric David, Expedia Local Expert Sylvia Doggett-Jones, Community Volunteer Miranda F. “Randi” Fitzgerald, Lowndes, Drostick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A. Jim Fritz, Orlando Magic

Eric D. Gassman, Orange County Government David Jasmund, PCE Investment Bankers, Inc. Christine S. Kefauver, HDR, Inc. Fred R. Kittinger, Jr., University of Central Florida Ronald R. Lamb, SunTrust Bank Sean A. McLaughlin, CNL Financial Group / JDS Holdings, LLC Michael Miller, Miller Air Group Lee Nimkoff, Brio Properties T. Todd Pittenger, Akerman LLP Stacey A. Prince-Troutman, Broad and Cassel John Rivers, 4R Restaurant Group Ty G. Roofner, Burr & Forman LLP Randy E. Schimmelpfennig, Law Offices of Dan Newlin & Partners Scott R. Stahley, Lincoln Property Company of Florida, Inc. Barbara Larson Stuart, The Stuart Group Jane Tebbe-Shemelya, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Richard G. Wack, Mediation Services of Central Florida, Inc. Robert F. Wagner, Tupperware Brands Corp. Bill L. Warren, Reedy Creek Improvement District Michael Weinberg, HFF, L.P. Mark Woodbury, Universal Parks & Resorts Erin Trabel Youngs, Walt Disney World Resort Aaron Zandy, Ford & Harrison LLP

4 201 5 year-end giving Your gift is important, and we want to make sure it will qualify for a 2014 tax deduction.

These final days are important: a strong close to 2014 means a great start to 2015, so please give generously now. Your support helps ensure a safe place to sleep, a warm meal, and life-changing services for hundreds of homeless men, women, and children each night. 1. PAY BY CREDIT CARD before 11:59 PM on December 31, 2014 to ensure your card is charged in 2014. Give now online or call our Development Department at 407.426.1256. If you would like to pay using American Express, please contact our office directly at 407.426.1256. 2. SEND A CHECK today! Mail must be postmarked by December 31, 2014 to 639 W. Central Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32801. 3. GIFTS OF STOCK must be transferred from your account by December 31, 2014. Please call our Development Department at 407.426.1256 for transfer instructions. Please check with your tax professional for additional tips and information.


More Than A Meal Tour JANUARY 13 & FEBRUARY 10, 2015

Join us for a light lunch and an informational tour of our main campus. In one short hour, you’ll get an inspiring firsthand look at how your support helps homeless men, women and children regain productive lives. TO REGISTER:

Hearts of Gold MAY 2, 2015

Save the date for the 2015 Hearts of Gold concert event! As always, the evening will begin with a special reception, silent auction, raffle, and complimentary drinks and hors d’oeuvres, followed by an exclusive concert — all to benefit the Coalition. Stay tuned for more information. 1

Thank you to all of those who have joined our Chain of Hope! If you haven’t joined yet, it’s not too late!


Visit to join today!

As the holidays approached, Doug Sealy, a generous supporter of the Coalition, recruited several friends to join him in making a holiday gift — of $135,000! We’ve been challenged to match this gift, dollar for dollar, through our Chain of Hope campaign. We recently spoke with Doug to learn a little more about him and how he got involved with the Coalition.

What is the Chain of Hope? Last year, our dedicated supporters showed us how incredibly generous they were during our first ever Chain of Hope holiday campaign. With each gift made to the campaign, a paper link was filled out with the supporter’s name. As link upon link was added to the chain in our lobby, clients, staff, volunteers, and visitors were inspired to see the chain grow before their eyes. It proved so popular that we brought it back for 2014, and we hope it will grow even longer and stronger this year!

Why join? You are an important part of who we are and what we do. Each day, thanks to the generosity of people like you, more than 600 men, women, and children have a safe place to stay and access to life-changing services. Everyone deserves a home for the holidays, and you help make that possible.

Matching Gift This year, a group of compassionate friends of the Coalition has challenged us to collectively match their gift of $135,000 by December 31st, 2014. This amazing opportunity allows your generosity to reach further to help more people who need it so urgently. Read more about this matching gift in the column to the right.

“I met with Brent Trotter when the new Men’s Service Center was in the beginning stages. He was so passionate about the homeless and the Coalition’s mission and so compassionate at the same time. It’s easy to share his enthusiasm,” said Doug, who was inspired at that time to make a large investment. “With my first donation, I told Brent that I was betting on the jockey, not the horse. I’m not sure he got the reference at first,” Doug joked. After the opening of the Men’s Service Center, Doug said, “I knew I had chosen well. Results can be seen firsthand. I’ve brought friends on enough tours that I know my way around. And the fun part is watching my friends get caught up in Brent’s enthusiasm, too. I am happier through giving back, and my friends can sense that as well.” With so many charitable requests coming his way, we asked Doug why he chose the Coalition. To him, the answer was simple. He said, “The fact that the Coalition is local, easy to visit, and is such an important part of our community – one that is so often overlooked – warrants a contribution. It’s worth the bet!” DOUG IS A WONDERFUL EXAMPLE OF THOSE IN OUR COMMUNITY WHO GENEROUSLY SUPPORT THE COALITION. BECAUSE OF YOU, WE ARE ABLE TO TRANSFORM THE LIVES OF OUR NEIGHBORS IN NEED. 3

building hope Its glass windows boast a single word: HOPE. That is exactly what the new Men’s Service Center (MSC) has been bringing to our residents since it opened this past summer, all thanks to you. For us, a dream has come true – one that would not have become a reality had it not been for your unfailing support. The new two-story residential facility is 32,000 sq. ft. It accommodates 250 men in dormitories, has a full kitchen and dining room, plus offices for case managers and partners. Since the MSC opened its doors on June 25 of this year, it has literally been opening doors to new opportunities for homeless men. Lives have already been transformed. Donald Whitehead, Director of Men’s Services, said he believes the Coalition is serving MSC residents in a way that is unique in the country, and “on the cusp of something remarkable.” “We’re going way beyond just the basic shelter and giving people all the tools they need to never have to 4

come back again,” he said. “It will really make a positive impact on the community as a whole.” The transformation began on moving day. That day, nearly 250 men saw the inside of the MSC for the first time, met their case managers, and slept in a bed they could call their own. “It was like a kid discovering what’s under the Christmas tree. They were overwhelmed with the upgraded facilities,” Donald said. “There was an immediate impact on their demeanor, on their hygiene. It was a total transformation for them.” The new facility brings a unique opportunity for us to transform the way we serve our residents as well. With men staying for an extended period, we are able to better understand the underlying causes of their homelessness and better tailor our case-managed programs to fit their needs. MSC staff is collecting valuable data, such as where the majority of residents are coming from, what kind of income sources they have, and whether or not they have health insurance. They are also learning what additional services we need to provide for our residents to thrive, including access to medical services, computer training

MSC INVESTORS Chris and Maureen Brockman The Chenel Family James Donovan and Team Donovan Glenn, Claire and Michael Fournier John and Ultima Morgan Matt and Kassidy Morgan The Nimkoff Family John and Monica Rivers and 4 Rivers Smokehouse Trip and Laurie Stephens Charles and Jan Tews and Family Rick and Laurie Wack and George and Ruth Wack Bill and Lisa Warren Ren and Karen Werrenrath Bank of America Charitable Foundation Dr. Phillips Charities, Inc. Hilton Grand Vacations Orlando Health Publix Super Markets Charities SunTrust Foundation Universal Orlando Foundation Wells Fargo Foundation Anonymous

and relationship counseling. On a deeper level, Donald added that the new building is helping create personal paradigm shifts for residents. “They’ve gone from survival mode to a mode where they actually can see the finish line for the first time,” he said. Glenn Johnson is one of the residents who personifies the difference that having a comprehensive program versus an overnight shelter can make. “I see him get up in the morning with a shirt and tie on looking for a job… he’s out there really trying for the first time,” Donald said. “He has some goals. That really makes a difference.” Today, Glenn has set his sights on attending Mid-Florida Tech to obtain a D-license, which will allow him to pursue a job as a security guard. “My goal is to move into my own place. And I’m not going to forget where I came from. The MSC helped me so much,” he said. “They brought me from the floor into a program, into a bed.” Best of all, we have only just begun. Donald said he believes we have merely scratched the surface

of what we can give residents. The MSC offers a number of vital resources to residents, including legal clinics, counseling, mental health resources, financial literacy workshops, job skills training, employment opportunities, and art therapy. Partners provide their services to us at no cost. In addition, our commitment to helping homeless veterans has led to a stronger partnership with the VA. With so many departments coming in to tour the facility and learn more about our residents, we are better able to provide assistance to the men who have faithfully served our nation. “From a programmatic standpoint, we’re bringing in a lot of agencies that would not have partnered with us when we were in the old building,” Donald added. Hope is taking root in the lives of our homeless men. For Horace Smith, a professional musician, life at the MSC allows him to move toward a better future. “The pavilion was old habits. The MSC is a new way of thinking,” Horace said. “It gives me more motivation, more inspiration. By having more inspiration, then positive things start to occur.” 5




ometimes a new style can make all the difference in your outlook on life. No one knows that better than Paul Mitchell The School Orlando, whose students, staff, and friends have been giving haircuts to Coalition residents for the past 11 years. What began with school director Tara Dowdal and just one other stylist has grown to as many as 60 stylists at the Thanksgiving breakfast. The school also visits for back-to-school haircuts in September and in May for Memorial Day. Their volunteer stylists and barbers arrive not only ready to serve, but often come bearing gifts. Paul Mitchell brings blankets to keep residents warm, as well as canned food items. Last year, the Coalition was honored to be the recipient of the school’s fundraising efforts, which brought in $2,000 to help transform the lives of our residents.

but you can spend a morning there and see that what you have in life that might be going on is nothing compared to other people.” Coming here, Tara said, is like having a family reunion. The school has “adopted” the Coalition, and volunteering each Thanksgiving has become a tradition for the stylists. Although the school receives multiple requests to attend other events, she said the Coalition takes priority. The Thanksgiving visit is so popular that stylists from other salons often contact her to participate as well. “I’ve had people bring their children down,” she added. “They sweep hair, but their kids get a great life lesson as well.” Tara said that the school is honored and privileged to spend time at the Coalition and be a “day maker” for the community and residents.

“Once you get involved, you see a person become so happy with their haircut and feel confident about themselves. That’s a gift that just sticks with you,” she said. “For the five or 15 minutes or however long you listen to their stories, you connect with them. It can save a life. It’s the best feeling ever.”

Tara explained that the school’s mission, “When People Come First, Success Will Follow,” is all about having a servant’s heart. That heart is evident to all whenever they come in to serve our residents. “It really does make you humble and thankful for the things you have in your life,” Tara said. “We may have all the challenges Thank you, Paul Mitchell The School Orlando, for your ongoing support! in the world, 6


The Coalition could not do what we do without the generous companies and individuals who help to fulfill our needs.

We want to thank Publix Super Markets Charities for its generous investment of $50,000 in the Men’s Service Center dorm for elderly and disabled clients. Their support of our mission positively impacts the entire Central Florida community, and we are extremely grateful for their longstanding partnership.

We were honored for the 22nd year to have the Orlando Magic staff and volunteers serve Thanksgiving breakfast for the homeless men, women, and children living at the Coalition. It was a particularly exciting day, since it was the first time the event was held in our new Men’s Service Center dining room.

GR A NTS $40,000 - $50,000 Al and Nancy Burnett Charitable Foundation Anonymous Foundation Abram & Ray Kaplan Foundation $15,000 - $20,000 J.C. Foundation Jack Holloway Foundation PNC Foundation

Thank you to all the sponsors, speakers, and attendees of the 2014 Journey Home Breakfast. We hope you enjoyed spending the morning getting to know the Coalition and hearing stories from our clients and their families. Your generosity is inspiring, and the donations made will help change the lives of our neighbors in need.

$5,000 - $10,000 Conrad N. Hilton Foundation James T. Barnes Foundation Macy’s Giving Program The Cozen O’Conner Foundation TJX Foundation $1,000 - $4,000 Enterprise Holdings Charles Hosmer Morse Foundation Glatting Charitable Trust Harry P. Leu Foundation Comcast Foundation The Martin Andersen-Gracia Andersen Foundation New Hampshire Charitable Foundation 7



with former clients, the Rosa family

Do you recognize these smiling faces? This is the Rosa family. We recently decided to say hello to these former Coalition clients, and are thrilled to share that not only are the Rosas doing well, but they are thriving! These days, the Rosas are living in a three-bedroom townhome, with a pool, game room, and clubhouse on the property. Happily, they are living the Florida lifestyle they dreamed of when they moved here from New York. The family relocated with the promise of a new job, but things didn’t work out the way they planned. They stayed at the Coalition, or as their kids have dubbed it, “The Coco,” for about six months. “I feel very blessed. I’m just very happy,” Robert said. “We came here almost two and half years ago, we stayed at the Coco, and it was hard. It was very hard.” As you may remember, the Rosas took full advantage of the resources available at the Coalition, and Robert and Erica both found jobs to support the family. Robert is still working for Disney Cruise Lines in Celebration. To date, he has brought in $10 million dollars in reservation revenue sales as a certified vacation planner. With things going well on the job front, the family was able to trade in their car for a new model. This is especially great news for the oldest of the Rosa children, Ashley, who now has her learner’s permit. “Every chance she gets, it’s ‘Daddy, Daddy, can I drive?’” Robert laughed. Ashley will be receiving her official license in May. The family is considering getting her a car of her own this summer, so she can drive herself to college classes next fall. 8

Ashley isn’t the only college-bound family member, however. Erica, who still has her job as an office manager at Allstate, has decided to pursue her master’s degree in medical management. Not to be outdone, Robert, too, will be returning to school to pursue his master’s in business management. “Education is contagious,” Robert joked. We wouldn’t be surprised if, in a few years, we hear that all six Rosa family members earned their degrees, as the four children are on the honor roll at their respective schools. “You guys were a very integral part of helping us achieve the goals that we needed to achieve,” Robert said. “Without a place to have your children lay their heads, a place to clean themselves, to do their homework, they couldn’t achieve their scholastic goals they wanted and needed to achieve in order to feel good about themselves.” He added that his family appreciates all the support they received during their stay at the Coalition.

“From the Coalition, we moved on to bigger and better things,” Robert said. “It was only through the Coalition, and the shelter and protection of the Coalition, that we were able to move forward.”

Every day, thanks to the generosity of our supporters, families like the Rosas receive the support they need to get back on their feet.



to all the volunteers who shared their time and talents with us throughout the year!





Thank you for making 2014 a great year for the Coalition. We hope you enjoy this issue. Can’t wait to connect with you again in 2015!

IN THIS ISSUE: • Don’t miss the chance to double your impact by joining our Chain of Hope • Building Hope: How the new Men’s Service Center is changing lives • Volunteer spotlight on Paul Mitchell The School Orlando • Catching up with former clients, the Rosas

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Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage

Coalition for the Homeless of Orlando, Inc. 639 West Central Boulevard Orlando, FL 32801

CONNECT | December 2014  

December 2014 issue of Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida's CONNECT.

CONNECT | December 2014  

December 2014 issue of Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida's CONNECT.