While most young adults are selfishly obsessed with buying a new car, wearing the latest fashions or following the lives of celebrities, this young woman is BEING the change she wants to see in the world.
Briana Daniel is the 23 year old compassionate, nonprofit organizer making a difference for the homeless of Orlando, Florida. Her organization is called The Street Team Movement and they do much more than just wash clothes for the homeless, they help them regain their self-confidence and hopefully rejoin society.
At 21 years old, Daniel was inspired to start this business when she was moved by God to make a change.
Daniel said, “The goal is to restore hope to homeless people by providing showers, laundry, remedial aid, and a higher quality of mindfulness. I’m from Jacksonville, Florida, and I got this idea about two years ago. I feel like it was a prompting from God to go out and help people.”
In a given week, the nonprofit organization helps about 50 people. They extend their hours during the holidays hoping to give people the opportunity and courage to reconnect and bond with their families during the special times of the year.
The Street Team Movement also provides remedial aid. This is defined as clothes, shoes, dental hygiene, regular hygiene, lotions, sunscreens, ponchos. The real goal is to provide dignity, hope and sense of self that comes with a fresh pair of clothes, shoes. Makes you feel like a human.
They refer to the homeless they help as “friends”, which I thought was a wonderful term to humanize the people cast aside and living on the street.
From the Orlando Sentinel: How she came up with Street Team Movement was not a direct path.
Finished with University of Central Florida history studies and preparing for a try at pre-med — she likes history but dreams of medicine — Daniel moved into downtown Orlando in mid-2013.
Soon after, she said she got a spiritual message urging her to wake up and serve those in need. How to do that wasn’t clear. But jogging around Lake Eola and noting homeless hanging out, she realized, “Oh, man, this is it.”
In early December that year, she “went homeless” for two weeks, finding others to latch on to while she figured out what needs of homeless she could do something about.
“I kept it under wraps and shared little about myself,” Daniel said of interactions on the street. “They thought I was a teenage runaway and didn’t give me much thought.’
She emerged with a general goal of providing laundry help and hygiene products, but “it all felt like it was a giant experiment.”
Ramping up through early 2014, Daniel went back to homeless life for another two weeks so that she could fine-tune her enterprise and “spread rumors” about where friends on the street could get laundry done and seek other assistance.
How many people you know would live on the streets to gain insight on building an organization to help the homeless?
Clearly, Briana Daniel is a special type of person, a rare breed indeed. Hopefully her efforts will continue to multiply as benefit to the hundreds, and soon to be thousands, of people the Street Team Movement touches.
UI tips our collective hat to this young woman who isn’t talking about it, but being about it in the lives of the unfortunate.
PUBLIC NOTE: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the Urban Intellectuals, affiliates or partners.