The Homeless Voice

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The Homeless Voice is an American homeless advocacy center that operates out of Florida.[1] It was founded by Sean Cononie and runs a street newspaper by the same name. The center also ran a homeless shelter in Hollywood, Florida that closed in 2015.[2]


The Homeless Voice used as a fundraising tool for the COSAC Foundation to help employ their homeless clients. In 2008, newspaper sales totaled $985,698. COSAC collected $410,000 in other donations, bringing the total revenue to nearly $1.4 million.[3] In an interview with NBC, Sean Cononie (founder of the Homeless Voice) claimed that "The Homeless Voice revenue helps cover the cost of food, shelter and social services for more than 400 men, women and children each month".[4]

Paper vendors are typically homeless and sell the newspaper as a temporary job.[5]


The Homeless Voice shelter was opened in Hollywood, Florida in 2002.[5] The building formerly served as a hotel for nudists and was renovated in order to serve as a homeless shelter.[6] The shelter was met with a mixed reception and received complaints that the shelter was a zoning violation and an eyesore.[6] In 2015 Cononie agreed to let the city purchase the shelter and several of his other properties, and in March of the same year moved the shelter's residents to a low-income hotel in Haines City.[7] The hotel, billed as the Stay Plus Inn (a former Howard Johnson's), has faced claims that it was taking advantage of the homeless by taking the majority or entirety of their limited income, which kept them from saving for the future.[7] Cononie has responded that it was common for shelters to request that its residents pay a program fee.[7][5]

In early 2016, Cononie agreed to sell the Polk County location.[8] According to the Homeless Voice's own website, in 2017, they opened a facility, called "Motel 8" in Lake City.[9]


  1. ^ "Volunteers vaccinate homeless against H1N1". CNN. Rich Phillips. 22 December 2009.
  2. ^ Bryan, Susannah (March 25, 2015). "Hollywood homeless shelter finally closing its doors". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved 2016-10-31.
  3. ^ "The Homeless Voice Doesn't Act Like Most Homeless Shelters". New Times. Leslie Minora. 20 January 2011.
  4. ^ "Homeless Voice Newspaper in Danger of Being Slashed". NBC Miami. Justin Finch. 25 December 2013.
  5. ^ a b c Cordeiro, Monivette. "A homeless 'resort' now faces pushback from Polk County officials". Orlando Weekly. Retrieved 2016-10-31.
  6. ^ a b Sullivan, Erin. "Sean Cononie's COSAC Foundation brings its "self-supported community run by poor people" to Polk County". Orlando Weekly. Retrieved 2016-10-31.
  7. ^ a b c Wheeler, Scott (July 16, 2015). "Homeless Hotel's Operator Says He's Just Trying To Help, but Complaints Tell a Different Story". The Ledger. Retrieved 2016-10-31.
  8. ^ Fantozzi, Madison. "Homeless hotel operator Sean Cononie plans to leave Polk County". The Ledger. Retrieved 2019-05-04.
  9. ^ Fraieli, Andrew. "America's First Nonprofit Motel". The Homeless Voice. Retrieved 2019-05-04.

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