[Hpn] 1,700 Homeless Children In Central Fla.

William C. Tinker wtinker@verizon.net
Tue, 22 Jan 2008 21:30:29 -0500


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1,700 Homeless Children In Central Fla.=20

http://www.local6.com/news/15114458/detail.html

January 22, 2008

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Nearly 30 percent of the estimated 8,000 homeless =
people living in Central Florida are children struggling to survive.=20
-------------------------------------------------------------------------=
-------
 PHOTOS: Inside Homeless Camp=20
-------------------------------------------------------------------------=
-------
Many of the hundreds of homeless children are living in motels along =
Highway 192 in the Disney corridor in Kissimmee, a Local 6 investigation =
found.=20

In fact, it's estimated that 250 families are living in the motels along =
Highway 192 and that more than 800 children in Osceola County are =
homeless or living in those motels.=20

Stacy Rikewort's family is living in a motel and typical of those who =
have nowhere else to go. =20


"It's not easy but it's not a choice as a parent," Rikewort said. "You =
have to put a roof over your family's head. We don't want to be in the =
streets and we shouldn't have to be in the streets."=20

Rikewort shares a motel room with her husband and three children.=20

"You never look at the fact that you are potentially weeks away from not =
having a home anymore and that that is going to happen," Rikewort said.=20

The Rikewort family was renting a house in Poinciana before being =
homeless. Rikewort said their landlord sold the house and the family had =
no safety net, Local 6's Steven Cooper reported.=20

"Enough attention is not being drawn to the fact that there are families =
out here who have people working who can pay their bills every single =
month but who can't come up with the $3,000 that they need to get into a =
home immediately," Rikewort said.=20

Recently, Rikewort's 11-year-old son, Austin, was hit and killed by a =
car while crossing the street, sending them deeper into a financial =
hole.=20

"Between the memorial service, the funeral cost and the fact my husband =
had to take five weeks off from work to help me with the other children, =
everything we had was gone," Rikewort said.=20

Austin was killed in October and the family remains in the motel today.=20

"You throw your legs out of bed everyday, you get your kids off to =
school, you deal with the other children that you have, you try to be =
the best parent that you can and you stuff the rest of it (away) because =
you have to deal with it," Rikewort said.=20

Rikewort said she hopes a regional commission working on ways to solve =
the homeless crisis understands her situation.=20

"They need to do whatever is in their power to start up a program to set =
up resources (and) to set up some sort of option for these families and =
publicize it so these families know," Rikewort said.=20

The series continues Wednesday with the stories of homeless veterans now =
on the streets of Central Florida.=20










William Charles Tinker, Sr.
New Hampshire Homeless
Founded 11-28-99
25 Granite Street
Northfield,N.H. 03276-1640 USA
Advocates,activists for disabled,displaced human rights.
1-603-286-2492
http://www.missingkids.com
http://www.nationalhomeless.org
http://www.newhampshirehomeless.org
http://www.newhampshirehomeless-subscribe@topica.com

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<H1 class=3DHeadline>1,700 Homeless Children In Central Fla. </H1>
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<DIV class=3Dposted>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV class=3Dupdated>January 22, 2008</DIV>
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<DIV class=3DStoryBody><!--startindex--><B class=3DDateline>ORLANDO, =
Fla. --=20
</B>Nearly 30 percent of the estimated 8,000 homeless people living in =
Central=20
Florida are children struggling to survive.=20
<HR>
<IMG height=3D12 alt=3D"" =
src=3D"http://www.local6.com/sh/images/ibs_icon/popup.gif"=20
width=3D22 border=3D0><B> PHOTOS:</B><A=20
href=3D"http://www.local6.com/slideshow/news/15106207/detail.html"><FONT =

color=3Dred><B> Inside Homeless Camp</B></FONT></A>=20
<HR>
Many of the hundreds of homeless children are living in motels along =
Highway 192=20
in the Disney corridor in Kissimmee, a Local 6 investigation found.=20
<P></P>In fact, it's estimated that 250 families are living in the =
motels along=20
Highway 192 and that more than 800 children in Osceola County are =
homeless or=20
living in those motels.=20
<P></P>Stacy Rikewort's family is living in a motel and typical of those =
who=20
have nowhere else to go.=20
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<P></P>"It's not easy but it's not a choice as a parent," Rikewort said. =
"You=20
have to put a roof over your family's head. We don't want to be in the =
streets=20
and we shouldn't have to be in the streets."=20
<P></P>Rikewort shares a motel room with her husband and three children. =

<P></P>"You never look at the fact that you are potentially weeks away =
from not=20
having a home anymore and that that is going to happen," Rikewort said.=20
<P></P>The Rikewort family was renting a house in Poinciana before being =

homeless. Rikewort said their landlord sold the house and the family had =
no=20
safety net, Local 6's Steven Cooper reported.=20
<P></P>"Enough attention is not being drawn to the fact that there are =
families=20
out here who have people working who can pay their bills every single =
month but=20
who can't come up with the $3,000 that they need to get into a home=20
immediately," Rikewort said.=20
<P></P>Recently, Rikewort's 11-year-old son, Austin, was hit and killed =
by a car=20
while crossing the street, sending them deeper into a financial hole.=20
<P></P>"Between the memorial service, the funeral cost and the fact my =
husband=20
had to take five weeks off from work to help me with the other children, =

everything we had was gone," Rikewort said.=20
<P></P>Austin was killed in October and the family remains in the motel =
today.=20
<P></P>"You throw your legs out of bed everyday, you get your kids off =
to=20
school, you deal with the other children that you have, you try to be =
the best=20
parent that you can and you stuff the rest of it (away) because you have =
to deal=20
with it," Rikewort said.=20
<P></P>Rikewort said she hopes a regional commission working on ways to =
solve=20
the homeless crisis understands her situation.=20
<P></P>"They need to do whatever is in their power to start up a program =
to set=20
up resources (and) to set up some sort of option for these families and=20
publicize it so these families know," Rikewort said.=20
<P></P>The series continues Wednesday with the stories of homeless =
veterans now=20
on the streets of Central Florida. </DIV>
<DIV class=3DStoryBody>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV class=3DStoryBody><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV class=3DStoryBody><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
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<DIV class=3DStoryBody><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV class=3DStoryBody>&nbsp;</DIV></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>William Charles Tinker, Sr.<BR>New =
Hampshire=20
Homeless<BR>Founded 11-28-99<BR>25 Granite Street<BR>Northfield,N.H. =
03276-1640=20
USA<BR>Advocates,activists for disabled,displaced human=20
rights.<BR>1-603-286-2492<BR><A=20
href=3D"http://www.missingkids.com">http://www.missingkids.com</A><BR><A =

href=3D"http://www.nationalhomeless.org">http://www.nationalhomeless.org<=
/A><BR><A=20
href=3D"http://www.newhampshirehomeless.org">http://www.newhampshirehomel=
ess.org</A><BR><A=20
href=3D"http://www.newhampshirehomeless-subscribe@topica.com">http://www.=
newhampshirehomeless-subscribe@topica.com</A><BR></FONT></DIV></BODY></HT=
ML>

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