“At any given moment, we believe that [there] are 1,700 families that are homeless and need housing in Osceola County.” This statement is from a written report presented January 22. A speaker at “The State of Homelessness in Osceola County” summit said that one of every one hundred homeless children in America lives in Osceola County! The Orlando Sentinel featured an article on January 23, 2014, “Osceola seeking answers for rise in homeless families.”
Three days later, a Saturday, January 25, Orlando Sentinel front page “teaser” reads “Osceola won’t lasso big rodeo after all.” The last paragraph of the article states “Osceola plans to move ahead with the arena, which will be attached to the planned American Music Resort, officials said.” Does the county need an arena and new resort reported to be part of a $1.5 billion hotel, restaurant, retail and night-life complex?
I wonder how many of the over 300 people attending the State of Homelessness summit may not agree with the county’s plans to move ahead with an arena when thousands of children living in the county are homeless. I certainly do not agree. The county would be better served by creating shelters, affordable housing on public transportation routes, and adding more public transportation to help low-income families.
While delivering donated bread to a motel the Sunday before the summit, we knocked on a family’s door. The middle school girl wouldn’t take anything like she usually does. She looked pensive. Her family was moving to another motel because of a rate increase. She opened her arms for a hug.
Arena, shelters, affordable housing, public transportation?
Ephesians 5:16-17 in The Message reads: “So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times! Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants.”
“In light of Osceola County’s past experience, current circumstances, future hopes and dreams, what is the wise thing for Osceola County to do?” Northpoint Community Church pastor Andy Stanley’s current sermon series encourages all of us to ask this question for everything we do.
Osceola County, Ask It! What is the Wise thing to do for homeless children and families?