The Zebra Coalition (Facebook | Website) is feeling out an opportunity to take over a former motel space in the Park Lake/Highland neighborhood in order to house queer youth who are experiencing homelessness.
The Zebra Coalition is a network of local organizations that provide services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and all LGBTQ+ youth that are between the ages of 13 and 24, that are facing homelessness, bullying, isolation from their families, and physical, sexual, and drug abuse, with individualized support programs, that include housing.
Note: Roughly 18 percent of the nation’s homeless youth are located in Florida and though it varies widely, it’s estimated that up to 40 percent of America’s homeless youth identify as LGBTQ+.
The Zebra Coalition has submitted plans to the City that will be seen by the Municipal Planning Board on February 16, that call for transforming a section of the Lake Davis Motel at 221 E. Colonial Drive [GMap] into temporary housing with up to 22 separate units that could house two people per unit.
The property is owned by Park Lake Presbyterian Church (Website) which had filed paperwork with the City of Orlando in April 2017 to convert the rooms into artist studios as an extension of adjacent tenants, Faith Arts Village Orlando (Facebook | Website).
This project is still in the permitting and review process and, according to Zebra Coalition Director Heather Wilkie, they have a community meeting in the near future that will dictate whether or not they will be moving forward with the project.
We will share more on this development in the near future.