Currently there are 711 homeless individuals living in Citrus, Hernando, Lake and Sumter counties.
LAKE COUNTY, Fla. – 7/19/18 – LSF Health Systems, one of the state’s largest providers of state-funded behavioral health services with a network of 50 provider organizations is calling for more housing options to address the mental health crisis.
The challenges facing homeless people are daunting. Often their stories tell a firsthand account of the extreme difficulty of working toward recovery while lacking the security of a home. Through the work of LSF Health Systems and their provider organizations, these individuals’ successes have a positive impact on Florida’s future.
Earlier this year, case managers from LSF provider organizations met Kayla living in the woods in Leesburg. She was young and pregnant with a history of serious drug addiction. The odds of her baby being born homeless were extremely high.
Currently there are 711 homeless individuals living in Citrus, Hernando, Lake and Sumter counties. Without safe and affordable housing, individuals living with mental health and/or substance abuse disorders are at risk for not following through with treatment recommendations.
“Kayla’s story illustrates how stable housing directly impacts positive health outcomes. It’s also why LSF Health Systems has worked to identify 219 new housing locations over the last year,” said Christine Cauffield, CEO of LSF Health Systems. “While the progress has been substantial, more public-private partnerships are needed to expand this crucial work.”
From the moment of engagement, LifeStream worked with Mid Florida Homeless Coalition to assist Kayla and Sammuel with basic necessities and linking them to available social services.
“When their pregnancy was determined to be high-risk, housing became paramount,” said Sherry Olszanski, Vice President of Marketing & Development/Executive Director LifeStream Foundation. “Members of both teams worked together to develop a service plan that addressed income and housing barriers with the goal of securing an affordable permanent housing solution. The couple was housed prior to the baby being born. This is a great example of agencies pooling resources and collaborating to best serve the needs of our community.”
“Success stories like this are what make being on the outreach team so rewarding! Being able to see multiple agencies working together to make housing the homeless a possibility is an honor to be a part of,” said Cassie Fountain with Mid Florida Homeless Coalition.
Terri Durdaller, Associate VP of Communications for LSF
Sherry Olszanski, Vice President of Marketing & Development for LifeStream