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  • Writer's pictureJeremy Sisson

Street Team Movement provides laundry services to homeless

Daniel, 24, founder and executive director of Street Team Movement, provides laundry services, hygiene kits and mental health services to the area's homeless.

 "It's one of those little necessities that you just take for granted. You just assume; you forget  that a lot of people don't have it." Daniel says.

The project, (Re):New, operates twice a week out of a laundromat near Lake Eola in downtown Orlando. "We're talking about renewing your clothes, renewing your spirit," Daniel says.

Daniel and a small group of volunteers schedule appointments every 30 minutes. A steady flow of men and women load and unload machines amid the constant hum of washers and dryers.

"When it gets full, it rocks," she says. "Like standing next to the Sunrail as it's passing by." 

Daniel says working so closely with the homeless population has given her a new perspective on their lives.

"They're people, you know, just like you and me. They had a job, had a family, had a house," she says, looking around at her clients folding and packing their clothes into backpacks and gym bags. "Just losing it and having to find your way back again, it's so much easier when you have someone to help you."

She says she was inspired to help the homeless while she was sleeping. "It was like a God-inspired moment," she says. "It was the high calling in my life to wake up and do something in the community."

Daniel says she lived on the street for a month to see what it was like and what needs weren't being met.

"Food was not the biggest need," she says. "It's the little things that get you, stuff like showers and hygiene that will get you."

Daniel put her plans to attend medical school at UCF on hold so she could concentrate full time on her charity.

"I feel like God pressed it upon my heart to do it," she says. "It was not a dream."

Plans are in the works for a mobile shower unit that she hopes will provide hundreds of showers a week.

Daniel says her reward is seeing the difference it makes on the people whom she now calls friends. 

"If someone comes in and they're wearing dirty clothes, they go and change afterwards, their whole posture changes, everything about it changes," she says. "They smile, they're super grateful. It's a change."

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