WLRN Puts the Spotlight on Homelessness in Miami

The city of Miami has a few million dollars in federal money to help those experiencing homelessness.

The City of Miami is infusing more money into efforts to try and reduce homelessness, using $3.1 million in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act.

The goal is to reduce homelessness in Miami down to “functional zero.” What that actually means is in question.

“It really is a measurable end to homelessness, and being able to sustain that with the right systems in place. Certainly, that is a target and a goal,” said Symeria Hudson, President and CEO of Chapman Partnership. “That’s something that many have been working toward for quite some time.”

The Chapman Partnership was awarded $200,000 to boost workforce training programs, as part of the funding breakdown.

But the decision comes after a string of recent restrictions from the city, including banning encampments, restricting where and how aid groups can feed people, and even creating a program where city residents can “adopt” people experiencing homelessness.

“In order for us to truly end homelessness in Miami, we must first stop the criminalization of homelessness,” David Peery said. He is the Chair of the Consumer Advisory Board of the Camillus Health Concern community clinic, which serves the homeless population of Miami. He’s also the Executive Director of the Miami Coalition to Advance Racial Equity – or MCARE. He continued:

“Quite frankly, I’m not aware of what functional zero actually is. It appears to be something different than zero, and so there’s somewhat of a misnomer in what it means. I would take that it is a well-intentioned, good-faith effort to end homelessness. But quite frankly, it’s not at all clear as to exactly what it is, and the definition tends to vary depending on who you talk to.”

Click here to listen to the full episode on WLRN.org

Published by Kat Duesterhaus

Digital Media Pro / Activist / Organizer

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