Florida’s Highway 192 runs up to the gates of the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. Lining the highway are dozens of hotels which are now housing hundreds of people made homeless. Once the pandemic struck, the theme parks and restaurants were forced to close and tourists stayed away. With the leisure industry essentially on hold, many locals have had to move into cheap motels for a roof over their head. Photographer Zak Bennett went to have a look at the motels and described it as ‘third world’ conditions. Pictured left, Anthony, a single father of two, sits in a stairwell at the Palm Motel down the road from Disney World in Kissimmee, Florida. Anthony is a chef in Old Town, a tourist hub in Kissimmee but since the COVID-19 pandemic he has had his work hours go from full-time to just two days a week. Right, Victor Augustin, 32, a father of eight, stands in a hallway at the The Clarion Inn & Suites Kissimmee. Augustin has a cleaning company with his wife and he also worked in construction at Universal Orlando Resort. All of his work has dried up during the COVID-19 pandemic. He is currently living in motels for two weeks at a time with his eight children and wife. Inset top, Barbie Austria is director of the Kissimmee Poinciana Homeless Outreach and works tirelessly and without pay to help place homeless families in hotels across Kissimmee. Inset bottom, The Magic Castle Inn & Suites Motel. Just one of many motels where the newly homeless have taken up residency.
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SOURCE: Mail Online