Business owners, elected officials, and nonprofit leaders came together on Monday, May 8 at The Teale in Kissimmee in support of Hope Partnership to celebrate a major step forward for affordable housing in and around Osceola County.
The gathering was co-hosted by Rep. Darren Soto, Rep. Kristen Arrington, and Osceola County Commissioner Cheryl Grieb, with all three delivering remarks in support of Hope Partnership’s creative solutions to the shortage of affordable, and attainable housing in Osceola County’s ever-growing population. Senator Victor Torres and Rep. Anna Eskamani were also in attendance to show their support.
Just a few years ago, The Teale Apartments, a development project overseen by Ryan Hyler of Styx, was yet another aging motel along the HWY 192 corridor. Now, it has been repurposed into comfortable, dignified studio apartments for members of the local workforce. The units at The Teale have been fully remodeled, and each has been upgraded with a full kitchenette. Guests in attendance were able to tour one of the remodeled units.
Rev. Mary Lee Downey of Hope Partnership was instrumental in planning the event. She praised Hyler and his team for seeing the potential in hotel remodels and referenced other communities across the nation that have embraced this strategy. Downey also expressed her gratitude for the elected leaders who have thrown their support behind these initiatives.
It might seem strange that we are here talking about this as a solution. We’ve spent the last 10-15 years working to transition people out of living in hotels. This isn’t that – the team at The Teale have delivered a product that is dignified and attainable for those who are working for low wages in our tourism industry. We believe everyone deserves a safe place to call home, and that is exactly what the residents of The Teale have found.
Hope Partnership is currently working to remodel a separate motel into studio apartments with the goal of providing dignified living units for individuals in our community who are currently experiencing homelessness.
Photo Source: Studio 22 Photography