Mayor Buddy Dyer is determined to get all homeless veterans off the streets of Orlando, and volunteers are showing up fast, to help him get it done.
The mayor's initiative to end homelessness beginning with vets started on Monday with a standing-room only crowd and a special training session.
"This is really important for our community," said Mayor Dyer. "We've done a lot of great things collaborating together, and now we're focused on ending veteran homelessness, and it's very heartwarming to see so many volunteers turning out already this morning. It's very heartwarming to see so many volunteers."
Volunteers will be trained to locate homeless veterans in Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties during the week of July 20. For David Williams, a homeless veteran who served in the Army, it's a way for him to reconnect and give back.
"I'm so excited about being a part of this, because I've got first-hand knowledge of what it's like to be on the streets, first-hand knowledge of what its like to be angry, first-hand knowledge of not knowing what I'm entitled to... how to go about getting it, and now that I've begun the road to this I can give the same thing to other veterans."
Once volunteers know how many homeless veterans there are and where they are, the commission will work with the v-a and the homeless services network to get each veteran a home by the end of 2015, And the mayor has plans to extend the service into 2016.
"By the end of this year, I would like to be able to claim victory on ending homelessness among our veterans," added Dyer, "and into the next year, I would like to make a significant dent on the rest of the chronically homeless."