Ryan DeVos, Orlando Magic's VP of Shareholder Engagement, and his wife, Michelle DeVos, join members of Covenant House Florida for an on-court grant presentation. The nonprofit received $60,000 as part of the 30 Grants for 30 Years initiative.

Covenant House Florida in Orlando Receives Grant from DeVos Family Foundation to Help More Youth Experiencing Homelessness in Central Florida Get Back on Their Feet

Josh Cohen
Digital News Manager

ORLANDO - If you need a painter for your house or business, you ask around and see if anyone knows a good one. If you’re visiting somewhere and want to know the best restaurants in town, you might read some reviews online or ask locals for some suggestions. If you’re in the market for a new car, you’re probably looking to leverage other people’s experiences with different brands and models.

It’s no different when it comes to community outreach and support services. Seeking out personal growth and development stories goes a long way in guiding others down a healthier and happier path.

That’s especially true at Covenant House Florida in Orlando, a faith-based nonprofit that provides shelter, food, immediate crisis care, and other services to youth in need and those experiencing homelessness. Covenant House is dedicated to serving all God’s children, with absolute respect and unconditional love, to guide, protect, and safeguard all youth in need.

The organization values these authentic connections, while honoring the voice of its youth and modeling caring relationships based on trust, respect, and honesty.

Covenant House CEO Renee’ Trincanello has seen the impact referrals make. “It is powerful to see alumni youth coming back to speak to the youth who are currently here,” she said. “The young people who have been successful in our programs have experienced similar traumas and vulnerabilities, and they are able to share how Covenant House can help. It’s uplifting for them (the youth) to see there is hope, opportunity, and success right around the corner.”

Homelessness continues to be one of America’s biggest issues. Covenant House reports that more than 3.5 million young adults ages 18 to 25 and at least 700,000 youth ages 13 to 17 experience some form of homelessness in the course of a year in the U.S. Data also shows that youth without a high school diploma or GED have a 346 percent higher risk of homelessness than young people who completed high school, while youth in households making less than $24,000 a year have a 162 percent higher risk of homelessness.

In 2021, Covenant House was able to help just shy of 400 youth in the Central Florida community through its outreach programs, educational and workforce services, shelter, food pantry, and case management.

Now, thanks to a $60,000 donation from the DeVos Family Foundation as part of its 30 Grants for 30 Years Initiative, Covenant House’s mission of protecting and safeguarding youth experiencing homelessness with absolute love and respect will reach even more young people in the Central Florida community.

“A lot of people walk right by our youth,” Trincanello said. “Our youth who are displaced or vulnerable are in plain sight everywhere, every day. I think the DeVos family taking the time to pay attention to those youth and to make sure they are funding providers and services that will lift up our youth is setting the stage for others to follow. We very much appreciate that.”

As part of the DeVos family’s 30 Grants for 30 Years Initiative, a total of $3 million will be donated to 30 area nonprofit organizations over 18 months, investing in people and projects impacting youth, essential needs for families, and community enrichment across Central Florida.

“Over the last now 31 years, we’ve been very honored to be the caretakers of the Orlando Magic,” explained Magic Chairman Dan DeVos. “My father had one request when acquiring the team: not to call him the owner. The fans and community are the true owners of the Orlando Magic and the inspiration behind the flourishing community that is Central Florida.”