Orlando, Fla. – July 13, 2020 – Wendover Housing Partners, one of the Southeast’s premier multifamily housing developers, today announces the opening of Warley Park, Central Florida’s first permanent supportive housing community for homeless individuals and families.
Located in Sanford, Fla. Warley Park is a $19 million, 81-unit apartment community built specifically for the homeless, with a priority on veterans and the chronically homeless. The community utilizes the permanent supportive housing model, which not only gets people off the streets, out of shelters, cars and sub-standard motels, but also provides them with on-site social services needed to rebuild their lives and break the cycle of homelessness.
“There are hundreds of people – including children – who end up homeless in Central Florida each year, and countless others who are on the brink of homelessness due to the lack of affordable housing,” said Jonathan L. Wolf, President and Founder of Wendover Housing Partners. “Warley Park is the first Central Florida community to adopt the permanent supportive housing model, which has proven to be the most successful way to address the issue of homelessness.”
The on-site support services are managed by Step Up on Second, a California-based non-profit recognized as the national leader in permanent supportive housing. These services include critical resources such as mental health care, after-school kids programs, job training and placement, GED classes and educational programs for ongoing skills to help residents rebuild their lives.
“To move forward in the fight to solve chronic homelessness, we have to go beyond just housing – we have to empower residents and provide them with the resources they need to stay healthy and safely integrate into the community,” said Tod Lipka, president and CEO of Step Up on Second. “Permanent supportive housing models like Warley Park help increase stability and autonomy among these individuals and provide a roadmap for recovery and integration into the community.”
Each building on the property was designed to foster this personal and professional growth through a variety of strategically-placed common areas. Residents have access to computer labs, activity/class rooms and meeting rooms in every building. The property also includes a commercial kitchen that can be used to train residents for restaurant jobs. Some of Warley Park’s new residents include:
- A combat veteran who spent the majority of the last two years living in his car at a park and ride lot. He showered and got ready for work at a nearby gym. He was laid off from his job during the pandemic, and living at Warley Park will allow him to start looking for a new job
- A man in his 50s who has been living in a tent in Sanford for years. He rode to Warley Park for his move-in on his bicycle, carrying all his possessions
- A woman who was pregnant and living in a shelter to escape a domestic violence situation; she was there during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic before finding a hotel room for her newborn baby and three other children. Moving into Warley Park kept her family from living on the streets and allows them all to stay together
- A man who lived in a homeless encampment for more than 30 years now has a new Warley Park apartment to call home
A coordinated entry system is being used to select Warley Park residents, a process that ensures people are ready for permanent housing. Residents utilize rental vouchers as payment, just as they would at other rental properties or motels. Warley Park offers 12-month leases so residents can live in their homes as long as they wish, as long as they meet the obligations of tenancy.
Wendover Housing Partners has employed new move-in procedures for Warley Park residents because of COVID-19 concerns, making sure new residents receive 1:1 attention while maintaining social distancing precautions.
The idea for Warley Park was born from a 2011 60 Minutes story on the growing number of Seminole County families who found themselves homeless during the recession.
Permanent supportive housing is not only a more effective solution to homelessness, but also a more cost-effective one. According to the Seminole Action Board, providing medical and hospital care for a long-term homeless person in Seminole County costs an average of $20,000 annually; incarcerating that person costs another $5,000 annually.
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For additional information about Wendover Housing Partners, visit www.wendovergroup.com.
About Wendover Housing Partners
Headquartered in Altamonte Springs, Wendover Housing Partners, LLC is a privately held real estate development, investment and management company founded in 1995. As one of the Southeast’s premier housing companies, Wendover specializes in the development of single and multi-family homes, apartment communities, senior communities, and transit-oriented development. Wendover’s expansive portfolio of affordable and mixed-income developments demonstrates the company’s success in creating housing opportunities in a variety of economically and socially diverse neighborhoods. www.wendovergroup.com