When communities come together, anything is possible, and when community leaders work together, lives in the community are changed for the better. That’s what happened when leaders in and around Osceola County joined together to support Hope Partnership in their goal of providing attainable housing in Osceola County with nearly $1 million in funding for their motel conversion project.

On Thursday, State Representative Kristin Arrington presented Reverend Mary Lee Downey, President/CEO of Hope Partnership, with funding that will be targeted for a upcoming motel conversion project.

Today, we are here to talk about the wonderful partnerships of support for this project. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for the people that are standing around me right now, and the joy that brings me to know that everyone with me wants to make sure that everyone in our community has a safe place to call home, Mary Downey shared during the beginning of the announcement in front of Hope Commons in Kissimmee.

Click here to watch Positively Osceola’s LIVE stream of the news conference!

Cheryl Hope Partnership
Kristen Arrington Hope Partnership

Hope Partnership works with those in the Osceola community experiencing poverty and homelessness, as they work to empower their neighbors, strengthen their community, and build hope.

“Locally here we’re working together your elected officials at the local, state, and federal level, along with community partners to work together to address the issue of affordable housing, or as Mary has taught me, attainable housing, because affordable depends on who you are. We’re looking at attainable housing for those folks who are suffering homelessness or are on the brink of homelessness.” Arrington said.

Representative Arrington went on to say that a hotel/motel conversion project has been been a big priority of hers.

Also attending the news conference was Florida Senator Victor Torres, “Mary has worked tooth and nail trying to get something established here in Osceola County. I know for the last 10 years I have been a staunch supporter of affordable housing and will never stop. We need to work together, we need to start to build more. That $500,000 should have some more zeros after that, because we need the money, and there is more money in Tallahassee to be spent on affordable housing.”

U.S. Congressman Darren Soto, who was also in attendance at the Hope Partnership news conference shared, “this combined with $1 million we were able to get, through the community budget funding request, through the congress last year, we’re leveraging it to finally resolve a major issue here in the county. What to do when people are in need of housing if they’ve lost their homes, if they’ve lost their apartments – living on 192 in that tourism corridor, today we say the solution is a partnership between public and private key partners like Hope Partnership to help get this done.”

Adding to the good news community news of the day, District 4 Osceola County Commissioner said, “this particular commission is laser focused on affordable housing. Since 2016, we’ve built or approved over 1200 units since then, and that’s not enough.If you look at what’s been done prior to that, we have made huge strides. That’s something that’s important to me. I believe in what Hope Partnership does. I believe in collaboration, so the county will be contributing $400,000 to this particular conversion to help the citizens not just have affordable, but safe, decent, and attainable places to live. That’s what we need in Osceola County.”

Reverend Downey said they are currently looking at a wonderful property for their motel conversion project and will make the announcement soon.

To learn more about Hope Partnership or to volunteer or support financially, visit thehopepartnership.org.