Moving Forward Spring 2024

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The Paradox of Compassion:

Expanding Horizons: Matthew’s Hope Strengthens Medical and Mental Health Support for the Homeless

What Keeps Me Going

Shelley Bradford speaks on what pushes her forward A


The Myths Surrounding

Cruel and Unusual Punishment:

8 and The Cruelty of Anti-Homelessness

Brothers and Sisters in Need: The Endless Inspiring Battle of Homeless Ministry

Homeless Crisis and Politics: Matthew’s Hope’s Visit to Tallahassee and The Blunt Reality and How We Can Cut Through the B.S.

Not Here is Not an Answer

The Paradox of Compassion:

06 TABLE OF CONTENTS 04 06 08 09 10 12 14 16 19 20 22 24 26 28
Gopher Tortoises Outrank Homeless Humans
Inside the
Homeless Outreach
in the Life:
Heart of Matthew’s Hope
Compassion: How Pastor Scott and Pastor Frankie’s Ministry Redefines Care for the Homeless
14 Years of Hope in Action A
Discover Trinity Oaks Where Dreams Take Center Stage in Cocoa, FL
Tortoises Outrank Homeless Humans
2024 30 Not Here is Not an Answer
Where Gopher

Matthew’s Hope Founder Scott Billue


Marc Jablon, Scott Billue, Shelley Bradford, Sarah Dewitz


Jon Burket of Imagine Marketing

Administrative Offices

611 Business Park Blvd. #101

Winter Garden, FL 34787

Phone: (407) 905-9500


Monday - Saturday 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Firm Foundation Preschool & Daycare

740 9th St, Winter Garden, FL 34787

Monday - Friday 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Matthew's Hope Orange

611 Business Park Blvd, St. 101. Winter Garden, FL 34787

Tuesdays & Thursdays

8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Matthew's Hope Brevard

825 Forrest Ave, Cocoa, FL 32922

Tuesdays & Thursdays

8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Matthew’s Hope Chest Store Orange

1027 S Dillard St, Winter Garden, FL 34787

Monday - Thursday 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Friday & Saturday 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Matthew's Hope Chest Store Brevard

830 Forrest Ave Cocoa, FL 32922

Monday - Saturday 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Unusual Punishment:
20 Cruel and
Amendment 8 and The Cruelty of AntiHomelessness Ordinances

At first glance, the assertion that a gopher tortoise might have more rights than a human seems preposterous, an absurdity conjured in the depths of a nearly otherworldly dystopia. Yet, bizarrely enough, our legal and social landscapes are increasingly

conservation efforts; the same cannot always be said for the latter, who often face the blunt force of policies that criminalize simple acts of existence.

The gopher tortoise embodies ageold resilience. But what message does it send about our collective values when an animal has more substantial legal and financial safety nets than the most vulnerable among us?

tilting towards such an irony. The gopher tortoise, a keystone species in the southeastern United States, stands tall in protected status, while humans— find themselves mired in a system often punitive toward their condition of homelessness.

The Disparity in Relocation Costs

Consider this peculiar juxtaposition: It costs upwards of $10,000 to legally and humanely relocate a single gopher tortoise, while the same level of care toward a home-less individual appears to be a bridge too far for many municipalities. The former is handled with a delicacy that’s both admirable and critical to the

Reflections on Environmental and Human Rights

This isn’t a matter simply of pitting environmental rights against human rights. The dichotomy highlights the discretionary way these two categories are treated in legal and public spheres. We are left to query if our conservation ethic dwarfs our social justice ethic or if both are malnourished by something more sinister—a deficiency in our cultural empathy that selectively suppresses human rights in favor of narrower priorities.

The logic of spending thousands to save a tortoise isn’t fallacious in itself; species preservation is a noble cause. However, when it’s juxtaposed with austerity towards human well-being, it underscores a disturbing reality. The bureaucracy surrounding tortoise protection is a model of swift,

albeit rigorous, protocol. By contrast, the bureaucratic hoops that the homeless must jump through often exacerbate their plight, offering little in the way of effective assistance.

Rethinking Societal Priorities

Looming behind this paradox is a more profound question of where our societal priorities lie. Is our true interest in preserving life forms purely self-serving—the unseen hand of ecological balance ensuring our own future—or can we extend that same reverence to the diverse human population that shares our collective fate?

The truth is, the cost of preserving a gopher tortoise is but a drop in the ocean of conservation budgets. The ten thousand dollars represent more than the financial value of the tortoise; it represents a carefully crafted ecosystem that demands attention and, yes, funds to sustain. Yet, flip the coin, examine the price tag of supporting the basic human needs of shelter and dignity, and we recoil at the ‘burden.’


The quandary is emblematic of broader structural inequities that define whose rights are protected with vigor and whose are conceded with indifference.

As a society, we need to underscore the mutual interdependence that threads through all forms of life. For every regulation that safeguards an ecosystem, there should be an equal, and vigorously enforced, commitment to the social ecosystem that supports the welfare of all its inhabitants.

A Call to Action

We are called to action amidst these troublesome reflections. It is not solely the policymakers who are responsible for crafting a more compassionate, more balanced existence. It falls on all of us to demand a reevaluation of our approach to life, both human and non-human.

The recognition of the inherent worth and inviolable rights of all living beings must be the bedrock of a just and

empathetic society. Any legal or policy framework that elevates the rights of one life form over another represents a dangerous, unsustainable trajectory.

It’s time to rewrite the narrative that places the well-being of a gopher tortoise above the dignity of a fellow human.

It’s time to challenge a system that perpetuates the homelessness crisis rather than resolves it. It’s time to reclaim our humanity and to expand our circles of compasompass not just the tortoises but also the millions of people searching for safety and stability on their own paths through life.

This isn’t a matter of choosing between tortoises and humans; it’s about recognizing that our compassion and our resources are, fundamentally, inexhaustible. It’s a matter of reorienting our priorities and policies to reflect a truth that is as self-evident as it is urgent: every single life matters.

How You Can Help Matthew’s Hope

Matthew’s Hope serves as a beacon of compassion within our community. Through dedicated service and the kindness of those who support us, we strive to make a tangible difference in the lives of those experiencing homelessness. Each contribution, no matter its form, catalyzes change and instills hope. Below are ways you can become a part of this vital mission.

Donate Single Serve Foods

A simple can of soup can be more than just a meal; it can be a symbol of warmth and care. Your donations of single-serve foods provide the nourishment needed by those who have

nowhere else to turn. Items such as:

• Ready-to-eat canned items with pull tops (e.g., soups, fruits)

• Granola bars or energy bars

• Packaged nuts or trail mixes

• Individual packets of oatmeal or cereal

• Bottled water or juice boxes

These can make a considerable impact on someone’s day-to-day survival.

Donate Clothes

Clothing is a basic human need, as essential as food and shelter. By donating clothes to Matthew’s Hope, you assist in:

• Supplying warm clothing during colder months to those exposed to harsh weather

• Providing suitable attire for interviews or jobs—paving the way for self-sufficiency.

• Offering a variety of sizes and styles to ensure that everyone can find something that fits and provides comfort.

Remember that your gently used clothing could offer someone a fresh start.

When you choose to support Matthew’s Hope, you’re contributing to more than just materials and handson aid—you’re helping to weave the fabric of a caring society.


In the heart of our community, a beacon of hope shines brighter than ever before. Matthew’s Hope, a cornerstone for support and care, has recently undertaken a significant expansion to its medical and mental health facilities. This initiative is more than an upgrade—it’s a critical lifeline for the often-overlooked homeless population in our midst.

The heartbeat of our town thrives on community spirit and compassion, making it essential to understand why this development was necessary and what it means for local residents who have fallen on hard times.

The Untold Health Crisis

For too long, those without a roof over their heads have faced an uphill battle in accessing healthcare services that many of us take for granted. Traditional health organizations, while providing invaluable services, often do not cater specifically to the unique needs of the homeless community. Accessibility issues extend beyond financial hurdles; it’s also about when and how they can get the help they desperately need.

Meeting Needs at the Right Time

One stark reality has become clear— help must be available when it’s needed most, not just during conventional office hours. Matthew’s Hope has taken this challenge head-on by expanding their operational capacity to align with the times that the homeless are most likely to seek assistance.

A Compassionate Expansion

The recent improvements at Matthew’s Hope are more than just physical enhancements—they represent a growing commitment to a vulnerable demographic. The addition of extra mental health offices means that more individuals can receive timely medical attention. The bolstered mental health room stands as a testament to the understanding that health is holistic, encompassing both the mind and the body.

The significant investment in additional staff not only improves operational efficiency but, more importantly, ensures that each individual is met with the care and attention they deserve.

Addressing the Root, Cultivating Growth

Perhaps most critically, the overarching goal of this expansion goes beyond treating symptoms. It’s about addressing the root causes of homelessness—be they mental, physical, or social. By providing on-site, immediate assistance, Matthew’s Hope is setting a standard for patient-centered care in a setting where the patient may not have had any care at all.

A Call to the Community

This marked transition speaks volumes of our values as a community and the power of collective action. It is an open invitation to every member of our town to acknowledge the struggles faced by the least fortunate

among us and to play a part in the solution. After all, the measure of our community’s strength lies in the support we extend to all members, especially the most needy

Final Words: A Hopeful Future

The work done by Matthew’s Hope is a profound reminder that every member of our community has inherent value and potential. With the expanded capabilities, the organization is better equipped to nurture that potential, guiding many back into a society that they felt left by.

The steps taken by this cherished organization have set in motion ripple effects that will echo throughout our community. The impact of these efforts will not be quantified by numbers alone, but in the renewed hope and improved lives of countless individuals who now see a light at the end of the tunnel—a beacon of hope, indeed.

As community members, it is our privilege and responsibility to support the continued work of Matthew’s Hope. Whether it’s through volunteering, providing resources, or simply spreading awareness, every action counts. Together, we can ensure that hope is never out of reach.

InterestedincontributingtoMatthew’sHopeorlearningmore?Visit theirwebsiteorstopbythefacilityto seefirsthandthechangeyoursupport can make.


Many days I would say what keeps me going is if not me, who? As many have heard me say in the past, this is what I knew what I was supposed to do since I was a little girl. This specific work in a homeless ministry, maybe?

Maybe not? Who knows? What I do know is this is where God has placed me in my life. When I first heard Scott talk about the ministry he’d founded for the homeless, and it wasn’t just another “shelter” or “soup kitchen” I was intrigued.

He was talking about how we move people forward towards a life of independence and self-sustainability. It took 8 years before I joined Matthews Hope. When I talk to my husband, he says this is just what I was built to do.

Seeing the wins, large and small, is what keeps me going I can't imagine being anywhere else!


According to WESH 2, the homeless population has grown by 75% in Central Florida since 2019. Matthew’s Hope is experiencing the increase in homelessness first hand as they see 5 to 10 new guests every time they open their doors.

The Faces Behind the Figures

Homelessness is not a singular experience but a collective of stories encompassing every facet of humanity—from war veterans bearing invisible scars to single mothers escaping tumultuous pasts, and those grappling with physical or mental challenges. Contrary to the stereotype, not one of these individuals ever envisioned the hard pavement as their pillow or the overpass as their roof.

In Central Florida, homelessness has surged by a shocking 75%, while Brevard County has seen an increase of 20%-25%. Yet, statistics barely scratch the surface of the human experience beneath them. “Imagine waking up each day to uncertainty, to the mandate of perpetual movement,” shares Pastor Scott. “This is the demoralizing routine—a constant search for necessities and safety.”

Shattered Misconceptions

The common thread weaving through public perception is that homelessness is a choice or, worse yet, a desired state. The reality hums a different tune. Each person has a different struggle, and a complex backstory. Government programs, though well-intentioned, often miss the mark as they lump unique individuals into categories without understanding their specific needs.

Matthew’s Hope operates on a different philosophy—one that tailors its approach to each individual. Their ethos is one of relationship-building—a cornerstone often overlooked in administrative approaches to assistance.

Daily Battles

For those without shelter, everyday tasks are Herculean challenges. It’s not just about where they're getting their next meal but simply if theyr'e even going to get a next meal without a community organization like Matthew's Hope. It’s navigating the bureaucratic maze without an ID, surviving laws that seem designed to compound their difficulties, and maintaining a semblance of normality while society keeps them on the fringe.

Each day a homeless individual wakes up hungry. He or she asks, “where am I going to get breakfast? How am I going to get transportation to get lunch? Next, how will I find transportation to dinner? And then where am I going to sleep tonight? Each day replicates itself. “Where do I eat, where do I sleep, and how do I get there?

Matthew’s Hope has seen how fear and uncertainty rocket vulnerability to substance misuse or exacerbate mental health issues. Matthew’s Hope seeks to alleviate some of this dis-tress by providing services many of us take for granted—laundry, showers, meals, and transportation— offering a taste of dignity and normalcy.

Mobilizing Compassion

Pastor Scott and Shelley’s message is clear: The homeless crisis demands a collective response. They encourage readers to support shelters and programs, like Matthew’s Hope, which provide life-changing support tailored to individual needs.

Matthew’s Hope is more than a beacon for those it serves directly; it’s a prototype of proactive compas-sion —a model urging us to rethink our engagement with the homeless crisis.

Ways to Support

F For community advocates and local residents moved by this story, there are practical steps you can take to contribute positively to the cause.

Educate Yourself: Understanding the complex realities of homelessness is the first step towards being an effective ally.

Volunteer: Time is a precious commodity. Offer yours by getting involved with Matthew’s Hope that provides direct services to the homeless population.

Donate: Every bit helps. Whether it’s monetary support, food, clothing, or hygiene products, your donation could be someone’s lifeline today.

Advocate: Use your voice to speak up against policies that harm the home-less. Call for resources that genuinely understand and meet their needs.

Matthew’s Hope operates on the belief that every individual deserves a chance at rebuilding their lives. By offering support, respect, and resources, this organization not only restores hope—it sparks a societal shift towards understanding and addressing homelessness with empathy and thoughtful action.

Join Matthew’s Hope in their mission to ignite change and provide the care everyone deserves. Together, we can hide humanity’s most vulnerable “in plain sight” with the respect and assistance they rightly received. For those interested in learning more, volunteering, or donating, visit Matthew’s Hope and discover how you can make a tangible difference in someone’s life today.


deserves. The pristine condition of the bathrooms isn’t a mere detail; it’s a testament to their commitment to honoring the value of each person who enters their doors.

For donors, witnessing such meticulous attention to detail, right down to the cleanliness of the bathrooms, instills confidence. It proves that care is woven into the smallest aspects of the ministry, suggesting careful stewardship of donations and resources.

Next time you’re at Matthew’s Hope, take a moment to visit the bathrooms. It’s a small action that speaks volumes about the values they uphold. And while there, remember to flush as a courtesy to the next person—a simple yet respectful gesture in line with the ministry’s ethos.


Scott never imagined that his American Dream would lead him down a path where wealth loses its allure, and real purpose is found in the gritty backstreets. Nor did he expect to find a kinship with Pastor Frankie, whose shared passion for helping the homeless sparked a friendship spanning over a decade. Together, they have witnessed the power of presence in transforming lives scarred by homelessness—a stark contrast to the once-a-year charity drives that barely scratch the surface of what it truly means to care.

“When you respect somebody and when you love someone as deeply as I love Frankie you trust that this brother has my back” stated Pastor Scott.

Unlikely Beginnings - The Meeting on the Streets

Scott’s life hit a turning point when he crossed paths with Pastor Frankie. Both were wandering the streets, their souls restlessly searching for God’s intentions for them. Yet, it was in these wandering moments where they found direction—navigating through lanes of lost dreams and forgotten identities, not as saviors, but as companions to those who had their names erased by society’s indifferent gaze.

Their camaraderie blossomed not from preaching or proselytizing, but from sharing silent sidewalks with souls whose stories seldom echo beyond the alleys they call home. Amidst the deafening silence of societal neglect, Scott and Pastor Frankie listened—to tales of desolation, to whispers of fractured pasts, to laughter that still dared to pierce through pain. It was listening that became their first act of true ministry.

The Ministry of Presence Beyond Provision

Most outreach efforts are fleeting— seasonal acts of kindness that hand

out necessities only to vanish with the setting sun. Scott and Pastor Frankie saw this shortfall and chose longevity over transience. They dared to become fixtures in the lives of the homeless, not just fleeting memories. “You came back” Pastor Scott recalls several people at the homeless camp stating, “people come here all the time, you came back”.

Pastor Frankie recalls, “It’s the consistency—the constant ‘being there’— that cuts through the noise. Our friends on the streets don’t just need soup or blankets; they need to be seen as humans, to be acknowledged in their entirety.”

From makeshift street-side counseling sessions to celebrating life’s minor victories, the duo carried an aura of family, a rare sensation for those whose memories of kin are often marred by abandonment or loss.

Breaking Down Stereotypes: The Interconnection Between Sin and Call

Central to their ministry was unraveling the complex braid of sin and salvation. Frankie passionately underlines, “Your sin is not your call, and your call is not dictated by your sin.” The streets taught him that moral failings were not indelible stains, but rather steps toward a greater understanding of grace.

For Pastor Frankie, this approach was revolutionary—the recognition that faith was more about embracing and uplifting than condemning. Frankie preaches of a divine love that doesn’t discriminate—a radical notion that opposes the sometimes judgmental stance casting long shadows across church aisles.

Treading Together Through Triumph and Tragedy

A friendship forged in adversity is unlike any other. Scott and Pastor Frankie’s shared experiences span

the emotional spectrum—from heartrending losses when the harshness of life claims another soul, to moments of sheer joy witnessing an individual rise from the depths of despair.

Our triumphs aren’t measured by the numbers saved or sheltered. They are in the instances when someone believes they matter because we’ve shown up not just to help but to honor their humanity.

A Call for the Ministry of Presence

The story of Scott and Pastor Frankie serves as a powerful reminder that within our communities lie opportunities for profound connections and soulful recoveries. It’s a call to all of us to go beyond the surface, to do more than provide—it’s an invitation to be present, to engage, and to listen.

In fostering friendships rather than fleeting encounters, in defying the easy route of viewing people through the lens of their lowest moments, Scott and Pastor Frankie’s ministry challenges us to envisage a new paradigm. In a world quick to dismiss and forget, they inspire us to remember and act with mindful hearts.

Theirs is not just a partnership in faith, but a testament to the human spirit’s hardiness and the indelible impact of unwavering solidarity. For those who walk the streets unseen, Scott and Pastor Frankie have become beacons of hope—not because they preach salvation, but because they practice humanity.


Homelessness is a complex social issue that exists in the shadow of various stereotypes and misconcep tions. These flawed perceptions not only undermine the dignity of those experiencing homelessness but also impede effective policy-making and community-based solutions. This ar ticle aims to shed light on the reality of homelessness, countering common myths with facts and compassion to foster a better understanding among society and policymakers, as well as the general public.

Myth 1: Homelessness Is a Choice

One of the most pervasive miscon ceptions is that homelessness is a result of laziness or a desire to live free from responsibility. The truth is, homelessness often stems from un controllable factors like job loss, men tal health issues, family breakdown, domestic violence, and a myriad of systemic barriers.

Myth 2: Homeless Individuals Are Only in Urban Areas

While cities have higher visibility of homeless populations due to higher population densities, homelessness is not exclusive to urban settings. Rural and suburban communities also face this issue, though it may be less visible.

ness is an unsolvable problem. Many countries have successfully reduced homelessness by implementing policies that address

humane policies to address and prevent homelessness. With a collective effort, it is possible to move towards a future where homelessness is rare, short-lived, and non-recurring.


In the heart of our seemingly progressive community, a shadow looms over the most vulnerable—a consequence of recent local ordinances that, under the guise of public health and safety, criminalize the very state of being without a home. The passage of some local ordinances, which brazenly bans camping in public spaces and sleeping in vehicles on government property, has sparked a contentious debate. At its core, it’s a debate about humanity, compassion, and the right to exist in public spaces.

A Closer Look at Amendment 8

Under new local ordinances, individuals found in violation of the anti-camping law can face steep fines of up to $500 and potential jail time of up to 60 days. Supporters argue that these measures are necessary to maintain order and aesthetic appeal in public spaces, ostensibly promoting a well-heeled community image. However, digging beneath the surface of these arguments reveals a starkly different narrative.

It’s a perplexing predicament when the convolution of laws ends up punishing the act of survival. The supporters of these ordinances fail to address this conundrum — where do we expect our unsheltered neighbors to go?

The Human Cost of “Camping” Laws

“A couple of our folks were recently arrested for the unlawful use of a shopping cart” stated Scott Billue, President and CEO of Matthew’s Hope.

The implications of these laws are significant. They do not merely inconvenience; they destabilize. For those who clutch to the fringes of society, already battered by the tempests of misfortune—be it economic disparity, mental health challenges, or a lack of affordable housing—these laws don’t act as deterrents. Rather, these laws

operate as punitive snares that entangle individuals in the criminal justice system for the mere act of trying to survive.

By treating the symptom — visibility of homelessness — rather than the disease — homelessness itself — we betray our communal values. We turn our public spaces into arenas where policy enforcement overshadows public service.

Advocates Cry Foul

Civil rights advocates and concerned citizens alike decry these ordinances as draconian. They argue that fining those who already face financial ruin or imprisoning those whose primary struggle is to find shelter each night is not only counterproductive but inhumane.

The punishments prescribed by these laws are emblematic of a punitive approach to poverty. By implementing these harsh penalties, we’re effectively criminalizing poverty and homelessness, a state often precipitated by systemic failures.

A Call for Compassion and Change

Collectively, we must scrutinize the intent and impact of local laws designed to regulate homelessness. We’re confronted with a moral crossroads—do we uphold punitive measures against the unsheltered, or do we push for systemic solutions that offer hope and rehabilitation, rather than further despair and marginalization?

The current trajectory is unsustainable and, arguably, unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment’s clause against cruel and unusual punishment. Rather than entrenching the cycle of homelessness and marginalization through incarceration and fines, we must advocate for holistic solutions, like affordable housing, mental health services, and job

programs. These holistic solutions are offered through Matthew’s Hope Ministries, however, they need your help.

Selective Outrage

Some people would rather question the language used by Matthew’s Hope Ministries on their Podcast Straight Talk, No B.S. rather than be outraged by cruelty that is being inflicted upon their homeless guests through legislation. We cannot allow the veil of aesthetic legislation to obscure the face of our homeless crisis.

Changing this narrative requires a paradigm shift from punitive action to preventative care. Investment in social services, community support mechanisms, and inclusive urban planning are key steps toward a future where no individual is penalized for their socioeconomic status.

It is time for proactive empathy, community engagement, and innovative policy-making to dismantle these “homeless laws,” and with them, the barriers they create. We must champion policies that affirm dignity, encourage rehabilitation, and foster community, not ones that perpetuate cycles of poverty and homelessness.

In every fold of this debate lies the question of our collective identity. Do we wish to be seen as a community that punishes the impoverished, or one that elevates them by providing the scaffoldings for a dignified life? It’s a poignant moment for reflection, and compellingly, for action.


In the heart of our community, there remains a world unseen by many. It is a world where poverty is not just a statistic, but a harsh reality. Here, on the front lines of this city, we find Pastor Scott and Shelley, two figures whose resolve is as unyielding as it is inspiring. Despite the trials, derision, and unseen victories, their commitment to the homeless ministry is unwavering. This is their story of resilience, faith, and the continuous battle to bring light to those in the darkest of days.

In the heart of our community, there remains a world unseen by many. It is a world where poverty is not just a statistic, but a harsh reality. Here, on the front lines of this city, we find Pastor Scott and Shelley, two figures whose resolve is as unyielding as it is inspiring. Despite the trials, derision, and unseen victories, their commitment to the homeless ministry is unwavering. This is their story of resilience, faith, and the continuous battle to bring light to those in the darkest of days.

Finding Inspiration in the Relentless Call to Serve

What propels a person to commit to such a monumental task, day in and day out? For Pastor Scott and Shelley, it is the flicker of hope in their beneficiaries’ eyes. It is the knowledge of a community’s unwavering support that fuels their mission. Theirs is not a fight for glory, but a humble struggle against societal indifference, as a small flame fights against the darkness. The echoes of community heroes and success stories serve as the resounding anthem that they are not alone in this fight. The duo are steadfast in their belief that every day they champion a cause— an unconditional crusade of humanity. The warmth of a hot meal, a listening ear, and a safe place to rest can sometimes be the difference between despair and the hope for a new day. The

Finding Inspiration in the Relentless Call to Serve

What propels a person to commit to such a monumental task, day in and day out? For Pastor Scott and Shelley, it is the flicker of hope in their beneficiaries’ eyes. It is the knowledge of a community’s unwavering support that fuels their mission. Theirs is not a fight for glory, but a humble struggle against societal indifference, as a small flame fights against the darkness. The echoes of community heroes and success stories serve as the resounding anthem that they are not alone in this fight.

The duo are steadfast in their be-

unfathomable resilience of those they serve also serves as a mirror, reflecting the strength they themselves need to persist in their journey.

Community Unification

Beyond the one-on-one interactions, their inspiration comes from the vast network of support they have been instrumental in building. From faithbased groups to local businesses, the outpouring of community spirit reinforces the very essence of their mission. The collective belief that each person has a right to warmth, nourishment, and dignity is a shared fuel that ignites passion and drives their continuous struggle.

lief that every day they champion a cause—an unconditional crusade of humanity. The warmth of a hot meal, a listening ear, and a safe place to rest can sometimes be the difference between despair and the hope for a new day. The unfathomable resilience of those they serve also serves as a mirror, reflecting the strength they themselves need to persist in their journey.

Community Unification

Addressing the Com mon Hurdles of Homeless Ministry

Often, it seems for every step forward,

Beyond the one-on-one interactions, their inspiration comes from the vast network of support they have been instrumental in building. From faithbased groups to local businesses, the outpouring of community spirit reinforces the very essence of their mission. The collective belief that each person has a right to warmth, nourishment, and dignity is a shared fuel that ignites passion and drives their continuous struggle.

Addressing the Common Hurdles of Homeless Ministry

Often, it seems for every step for ward, the homeless ministry takes two back. The path is littered with challenges, from resource manage ment to societal misconceptions.

However, overcoming these hurdles is an integral part of Pastor Scott and Shelley’s mission. By addressing these challenges head-on, they find not only solution but spiritual growth.

Resource Scarcity

the homeless ministry takes two back. The path is littered with challenges, from resource management to societal misconceptions. However, overcoming these hurdles is an integral part of Pastor Scott and Shelley’s mission. By addressing these challenges head-on, they find not only solution but spiritual growth.

Resource Scarcity

One of the most pressing issues faced is the scarcity of resources. It is a resource war; an almost insurmountable

One of the most press ing issues faced is the scarcity of resources. It is a resource war; an almost insur mountable task of feeding and housing


harrowing stories of those they serve are etched into their hearts, and the vulnerability of their position brings about a visceral desire to provide more. The unspoken battles of mental health and despair are a heavy burden to bear, one that can leave the most empathetic soul quivering.

Forging Paths Through the Toughest Times

It is not enough to merely highlight the challenges. The true testament to their story is how Pastor Scott, Shelley, and the team at Matthew’s Hope weather these storms. Their strategy is as much about the fortitude of the spirit as it is about tangible action.

Resilience Through Community Involvement

One of their most effective shields is the armor of community involvement. By sharing the burden, they lessen each other’s load and create a safety net that is as expansive as it is strong. The shared responsibility creates an environment of support, an echo chamber of kindness and resilience.

Strategic Partnerships

The duo has also dedicated time to formulating strategic partnerships. These alliances are not just pragmatic; they are symbolic of a community coming together with a shared vision. It is a testament to

hand reaching out with a solution.

The Profound Influence on the Surrounding Community

The impact of their relentless efforts is not lost on the community they serve. It is in the testimonials of those they have helped that the true measure of their work is realized. The palpable change in the air, the transformation in the lives of those they have sheltered and fed, serves as a beacon of hope.

Life-Changing Stories

The stories are innumerable and varied—the single mother finding a glimmer of opportunity, the veteran rediscovering the strength of his spirit, and the teenager reigniting dreams long extinguished. Each is a chapter in the grand narrative of their triumphs and a reminder that the work they do is vital.

A Positive Ripple Effect

The impact of these individual victories extends much further. It is the ripple effect of positive change, influencing the lives of friends, families, and the community at large. The narrative shifts from hopelessness to one of resilience and possibility.

Extending a Hand to Those Who Wish to Help

Pastor Scott and Shelley’s mission is not merely to recount their tireless efforts, but also to extend an invitation. An invitation to each reader to be a part of the solution, to take up the mantle and join them

facet of ensuring their work remains sustainable.

Volunteering and Advocacy

Beyond monetary means, they urge readers to consider another form of donation—time. Volunteering and advocacy are potent ways to contribute, offering both physical help and the strength of a unified voice in the face of adversity.

Encouraging Sustained Empathy

Finally, they implore each individual to nurture empathy in whatever capacity they can. To fight the battle of homelessness is not just to provide shelter and sustenance; it is to engage in a perpetual act of love and to extend this love to the broader community.

Brothers and Sisters in Need: A Continuing Saga

The saga of Pastor Scott and Shelley is one that is far from reaching its conclusion. It is a tale of constant renewal, of meeting each day with fresh determination, and of reflecting the collective good that can arise from a community’s resolute will. Theirs is a harrowing yet inspirational narrative, a call to arms for those who seek to make a difference in the lives of others. It is a testament to the power of unity, faith, and love in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.

Financial aid, in any denom-bone of their operation. It is the material bridge to a better tomorrow, a necessary

In every person we choose to help, we choose their lives. And in every person we choose not to help, we choose not to help their lives. The big question for Pastor Scott and Shelley is- if not us, then who? For there are many, many people who require a helping hand and need to be shown the light. And without us, who?

The biggest challenge is not that the task is so difficult it’s the people who think we are not doing enough. But when we see the people who have been helped by the program and the look of gratefulness on their face that makes us continue the work we do. We want the same thing the community wants- to celebrate the success of the people who have been changed. We want to continue to bring awareness of how we can help with the homeless problem and how to help end it. The path is clear to us.


Matthew’s Hope recently visited Tallahasse, and let’s just say it was nothing like School House Rock! The visit to Tallahassee was charged with purpose and the burden of carrying others’ stories. Scott and Shelley, weary yet determined, stepped into the Florida State Capitol in Tallahassee, hopeful to shed light on the rising homeless crisis gripping our area. This is their story—a tale that starts with optimism but is clouded by an all too familiar political fog. It’s a narrative that exposes the disconnect between those who lead and those who desperately need.

Scott and Shelley, hosts of the honest and hard-hitting podcast, “Straight Talk, No B.S.,” paced along the polished floors with every intention to pierce through the thick fabric of bureaucracy. With the plight of thousands of homeless in their minds, they sought a dialogue, an understanding, a flicker of commitment from the state legislature. Instead, their hopes met a brick wall of vague answers and indifferent shrugs.

According to WESH 2 News, Homelessness in Central Florida is up 75% since 2019. Despite it being campaign season, the politicians Matthew’s Hope met seemed to care very little. Most of the funding is allocated to hiding the homeless rather than helping the homeless. Even worse, there’s more funds being directed toward “research” than support.

Yet hope wasn’t entirely lost. The

return trip was one of reflection, not resignation. The conviction that local activism, the power of the involved and the informed, could reroute the direction things were headed towards became Scott and Shelley’s fuel. It reminded them—and us—that the true power lies with the people, especially when joined together in solidarity

What can we do to swing the pendulum towards compassion and progress? Scott Billue, President and CEO of Matthew’s Hope stated the following:

“Can you imagine if everyone on social media would write their representative and simply ask these questions regarding the Homeless Crisis

If there is a plan, when and how will it be implemented?

If there is not a plan, why not?

Take a stance. Reach out directly to your local representatives and demand engagement and support for our homeless neighbors. Join hands with groups in your locality that push for policies respecting

human dignity and contributing to real solutions.

Learn the truth about homelessness, and share that knowledge. Teach others that those without a roof are not faceless statistics but our fellow community members deserving of respect and aid.

Offer time, resources, or support to local initiatives that reach out directly to those in need—because meaningful help is more than just a hot meal; it’s a path to stability and security. It’s recognizing the potential in every person and providing the tools for a sustainable way out of hardship.

Our community is full of untold stories of survival, hope, and resilience. Now is the time to write a new chapter—one where homelessness is not treated as a crime but as a critical concern that we can address together. Join the conversation, engage in action, and help make the blunt reality of homelessness a tale of transformation and triumph instead. Homelessness is not B.S., and neither should our response to it.


Amidst the hustle and bustle of Central Florida, where tourists, snowbirds, and locals alike flood our busy streets, a harsh reality confronts us—a reality that jeopardizes justice and empathy in our community. Driven by punitive laws such as Florida Senate Bill 1530 and House Bill 1365, the criminalization of homelessness casts a daunting shadow over the lives of those without shelter, perpetuating cycles of poverty and despair.

Senate Bill 1530, also known as the “Unauthorized Public Camping and Public Sleeping” law, epitomizes misguided attempts to address homelessness through punishment. By criminalizing individuals found sleeping or camping in public spaces without permission, this legislation fails to address the root causes of homelessness and instead punishes acts of survival. It overlooks the underlying issues such as lack of affordable housing, mental health care, and support systems that often lead to homelessness.

House Bill 1365 (or as House Member Randy Fine blatantly calls it, “The Homeless Bill”) compounds the issue further by increasing the bounds of criminalization to encompass more behaviors associated with homelessness. This legislation extends the reach of disciplinary measures, penalizing individuals for activities such as panhandling or being present in public spaces. As a result, it worsens the marginalization and stigmatization of

the homeless population, making it even more challenging for them to access support and resources.

Enforcement of these laws in Central Florida has dire consequences. Rather than addressing the underlying issues driving homelessness, this approach impairs social inequalities and perpetuates cycles of incarceration and marginalization. Nationwide, people experiencing homelessness are up to 11 times more likely to be arrested than those who are housed. Why? For simply existing? These glaring statistics underscore the systemic inequalities and injustices faced by this population, highlighting the disproportionate impact of corrective measures on vulnerable individuals. Despite efforts to criminalize homelessness, it remains a complex social issue that cannot be solved through legal measures alone.


According to Homeless Voice, “It costs taxpayers $31,065 a year to criminalize a single person suffering from homelessness — through hostile architecture, police raids of homeless encampments, and just general harassment. The cost of providing them supportive housing — $10,051 per year.” Instead of wasting resources on criminal measures that do little to address the root causes of homelessness, we must invest in solutions that provide access to affordable housing, mental health services, and support networks. By addressing the underlying issues driving homelessness, we can break the cycle of poverty and incarceration, leading to better outcomes for individuals and communities.

The National Homelessness Law Center has tracked these laws in 187 cities and found that city-wide bans on camping have surged by 92%, restrictions on sitting or lying by 78%, limitations on loitering by 103%, prohibitions on panhandling by 103%, and constraints on living in vehicles by 213% around the country. These staggering statistics underscore the harsh reality faced by the homeless population, as they are criminalized for simply existing in public spaces. This shows that the crisis is not elsewhere—it’s right here, in our communities. “Not here” is not an answer. It’s a denial of responsibility, a refusal to acknowledge the humanity and dignity of our

homeless neighbors, and the reality that the crisis is right in our midst.

Some law enforcement officers face the tough decision of enforcing these laws. However, few are as bad as our politicians, who champion punitive measures while neglecting underlying issues. The complicity of state and local legislators in perpetuating these measures further exacerbates the challenges faced by the homeless population. It’s time for our legislators to prioritize compassion over punishment and implement comprehensive strategies that address the root causes of homelessness.

Matthews Hope, nestled in the heart of our community, stands as a beacon of hope for the homeless. Run by a group of dedicated individuals determined to make a difference, it has grown into a vital resource for those in need. Offering not just food and showers, but also a path to self-sufficiency, Matthews Hope embodies the spirit of compassion and community.

Through the backlash and naysayers, Matthews Hope has not faltered in its mission. It has extended invitations for tours and education on the homeless crisis to state and county politicians, urging them to witness firsthand the struggles faced by those on the streets and to collaborate on finding solutions. Yet, dishearteningly, a slim margin of them responded. The silence of those in positions of power

speaks volumes, highlighting the urgency of the situation and the need for greater awareness and action.

Our politicians at home and in Washington D.C. must be held accountable for their actions. What is the plan to address homelessness in our community? When will this plan be implemented? And if there is no plan, why not? It’s time to demand answers from our legislators. The bigwigs in Tallahassee need to see what’s happening in their own backyard and take action to prioritize compassion over punishment. “Not here” is not an answer, and it certainly isn’t a plan.

However, the solution starts with you.


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