OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — The Osceola County Human Services Department announced Monday that it is working with local organizations to find new homes for residents at the Star Motel who have been living there without water and power.

What You Need To Know

  • Water and power at the Star Motel have been shut off due to nonpayment

  • Osceola County officials are working with area nonprofits to find residents a new place to stay

  • Assistance to Star Motel residents has been offered since December 2019

Water at the motel was shut off in early September, a month after power was disconnected due to nonpayment. 

"Over the previous days, the county worked with the Community Hope Center to secure accommodations for families with children, providing the funding for the rehousing," Osceola County officials said in a news release. "Even as 14 families have been relocated to other area hotels, additional families and individuals still need to be transitioned from the Star Motel."

For residents willing to accept assistance, the Osceola County Human Services team has teamed up with area nonprofit organizations to find secure, stable accommodations. 

"We appreciate our local nonprofits that have stepped up to help these residents in dire situations at the Star Motel, and we are thankful the county was able to partner with them to place families into safer, healthier living conditions this week," Osceola Commission Chairwoman Viviana Janer said. "However, we know there is more work to be done and help that is needed for others in similar circumstances. 

"We ultimately want to help these homeless families become self-sufficient to improve their overall quality of life for years to come."

County officials have been offering assistance to residents of the Star Motel and neighboring Lake Cecile Inn and Suites since December 2019. 

In the past few months, Osceola County workers conducted two major trash removal efforts at both properties, which included the removal of abandoned vehicles, the news release said. 

"The county is committed to the well-being of our residents and believes everyone deserves a safe place to call home," Osceola Commission Vice Chairwoman Cheryl Grieb said. "Affordable housing is a basic need for our community, and the county continues to seek solutions and identify opportunities to establish stable living situations for more families in transition."

The problems at the Star Motel and Lake Cecile Inn and Suites started before the COVID-19 pandemic, county officials noted.

The owners of the Star Motel currently owe $14,827 to the Kissimmee Utility Authority for electricity and $90,118 to the Toho Water Authority, officials said.