The Foundation for a Healthier West Orange’s website connects residents to the housing, health, legal and financial resources all around the area.

The HUBB of it all

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By
Kasyn Givens

Reporter

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

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The Foundation for a Healthier West Orange’s website connects residents to the housing, health, legal and financial resources all around the area.

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So what’s this hub-bub about HUBB?


As a way to help West Orange County residents learn about programs that could help them with their basic housing, food and employment needs, the nonprofit Foundation for a Healthier West Orange launched HUBB, a free, anonymous, online and in-person resource center. With the site approaching its two-year anniversary, more than 7,000 users — and counting — have found information about health and wellness resources in their communities.


HUBB Community Resource Specialist Erika Feazell said the site is making an impact in the area because the area’s residents either weren’t aware of locally available resources or didn’t know how to access them. “HUBB was created to bridge the gap between resources that exist and residents that need them,” she said.


No personal information is required to use it. Users only need to type in a zip code to show locally provided services.


The website helps those who need assistance with free or reduced healthcare, mental health and related services, caregiver resources, emergency food assistance and nutrition education, temporary shelter and other housing advice as well as skills and training and other employment-related information. The entire site can also be translated into more than 50 languages including Japanese, Bengali and Czech.

“It’s important for residents to know that this is a resource database that covers more than just the common resources like local healthcare services but free and reduced-cost services as well,” Feazell said.“That covers categories from transportation to legal help to mental health counseling.”

While online users still search through categories such as education, mental health and social activities, she said that housing and food have been the top two most commonly searched terms since the beginning of the pandemic. Orange County residents have been grappling with a shortage of affordable housing as well as food scarcity as inflation has hit many families hard.


Feazell added: “Programs and services are added each day to our HUBB resource database through community outreach and conversations with local community-based organizations.”


While HUBB (the acronym doesn't stand for anything) is widely used to search for information about basic needs, families and children can also use it to find out about art classes and other recreational activities, residents can search for volunteering opportunities and students can search for educational scholarships.


In West Orange County alone, there are thousands of programs available from organizations such as the Orange County Citizen Rescue and Outreach Division, Orlando Housing Authority and city of Orlando’s Building and Development office.