From WKMG Local 6 Orlando
ORLANDO – Nearly 30 percent of the estimated 8,000 homeless people living in Central Florida are children struggling to survive. 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. 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. Stacy Rikewort’s family is living in a motel and typical of those who have nowhere else to go. 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. “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. 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. “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. “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.
Taken from www.tallahassee.com