Opening Doors for Homeless in Lake County, Fla.

LifeStream Behavioral Center has been awarded a $47,662 Emergency Solutions Grant from DCF for its homeless drop-in center, The Open Door.

LifeStream has partnered with local community action agencies, churches, civic groups, local government, corporations, foundations, and individuals to plan and create “The Open Door”, a drop-in center for individuals and families in Lake County who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless.  The Open Door is located at 115 E. Citrus Avenue in downtown Eustis.

The overarching goal of The Open Door is to assist individuals and families who find themselves homeless, or at-risk of becoming homeless because of situational poverty, or, to assist the homeless individuals and families impacted by generational poverty to get into long-term training and employment programs to help them integrate back into society and become self-sufficient.  Individuals and families are provided assistance in researching and finding employment, shelter, and affordable housing options, as well as being linked to community resources that can provide rent and utility assistance, food, clothing and other essentials.  The homeless individuals have access to clothing, hygiene items, computers, resource room, food shelf, meals, shower and laundry services.  There is no cost for the services provided.

The funds awarded will be utilized to provide street outreach to Lake County’s homeless, or at-risk of becoming homeless, individuals and families.  Outreach plays a crucial role in work with people who are experiencing homelessness.  It means making contact with individuals on their terms – where they live – rather than in an agency setting.  Outreach involves cultivating a relationship with the person or family who is homeless.  Unsheltered homeless individuals and families will be identified through direct outreach activities and through reports and referrals from shelters, police, churches, social service providers, and others.

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