The Volusia Sheriff's Office is partnering with the First Step Shelter to establish an outreach program and public hotline for homelessness in Volusia County. The program is called Eastern Volusia Homeless Outreach Team and is set to start on Monday.
The hotline will be available from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, and can be reached be dialing 386-999-HELP (4357). Its intended use is to request services for those who are homeless and in need in Volusia County, and eventually help them find permanent housing.
“Our goal is to meet people where they are and give them a chance to access the services they might need,” said First Step executive director Dr. Victoria Fahlberg. “For those who are looking for a new path, we can be that first step to starting a new life in stable housing.”
As the program is geared toward east Volusia County, it will be targeted at Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach, Port Orange, Holly Hill, Daytona Beach Shores, and Ponce Inlet. These cities are contributing funding to create the program.
“There’s no quick fix to end homelessness anywhere in America, but we can make a difference in our own community by working together,” said Daytona Mayor and First Step Board Chairman Derrick Henry. “With the outreach and collaboration this project brings to bear, I believe the public is going to see what’s possible for those who take advantage of everything the First Step Shelter has to offer.”
The physical location for First Step Shelter is at 3889 W. International SPeedway Blvd in Daytona Beach, with capacity for 60 occupants. The center is working to increase that capacity to 70.