Recently I had an opportunity that I would have never thought possible – helping a man who is dedicated to doing what he can to help people who are less fortunate than you and I. Joel Miller spends his days walking the streets of Orlando giving hope, friendship, and assistance to homeless residents who are often overlooked. I jumped at the chance to spend a day with Joel and document his interactions. It proved to be a humbling experience, in which I met some wonderful people who taught me a lot about the problems that they deal with on a daily basis.
Working for the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness as an Outreach Specialist, Joel’s primary goal is to get homeless people into permanent shelter, while also helping them in any way that he possibly can. Many services he cannot offer on his own, but because he has been working in this field for the last 10 years, he has gained a network of colleagues who have similar goals of helping.
I applaud Joel on his mission; it was evident that it’s not an easy job to do. Many of these people are down on their luck and just need a little help to get back on their feet. Some have disabilities that make them unable to hold a job, while others have addictions that need to be worked out. While with Joel, I met people who fall into all three categories. In many cases, their issues can be solved on an individual basis. That’s why Joel is out there hitting the streets, talking to as many people as possible about what he can do to help them. He is probably helping somebody as you read this.
To learn more about United Way’s effort to alleviate homelessness, including our partnership with the commission, Click here
If you are interested in more information on the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness, or would like to help Joel out, visit their site here.
Since that day was such a great experience, it is impossible to write everything into a single entry. So stay tuned, there is more to come.
Now a quick fact about the homeless of Central Florida – The average number of displaced people on any given night in Central Florida is 3,970, according to Thedisplaced.org, a website that is dedicated to raising awareness of the growing problem of homelessness in Central Florida.
Full Sail Intern
United Way Marketing & Communications