Orlando approves $6 million to renovate Christian Service Center

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Florida Construction News staff writer

Orlando city commissioners have approved a $36-million plan to renovate the Christian Service Center into a day services center for the homeless.Funding will come from the Accelerate Orlando account for construction costs and the Community Redevelopment Agency has committed $1.1 million for the renovations.

“I’ve been mayor now 21 years in the City of Orlando and since the first day I became mayor we’ve been talking about this specific issue,” Mayor Buddy Dyer said after the unanimous vote. “I’m extremely hopeful that this will be a call to other cities, other counties, to do likewise.

“This is the first but we need a number of not this large, but smaller ones throughout the region and we also need a number of shelters located throughout the region and we need a lot more affordable housing .”

The Christian Service Center currently provides meals, showers and laundry, access to medical and mental health care, case management, and connections to employment and housing. After renovation, the site could serve up to 350 people daily.

Work will transform two buildings. The 6,000-sq. ft. Fresh Start Building will have showers and restrooms and the second building, currently vacant would be turned into a medical center.

Construction will also bring the buildings up to current code, as well as improve security and lighting.

Renovations are expected to be completed in about 18 months.

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