Justice for Black Americans Is Justice For All Americans

The need for MCARE was catalyzed in 2021 by Miami’s burgeoning affordable housing crisis and the City’s aggressive efforts to criminalize homelessness. Recognizing that Miami-Dade County’s homeless population is 60% Black, yet Blacks represent less than 18% of the overall County population, it is clear that homelessness policies are in fact racial policies.

MCARE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit coalition of organizations seeking to advance social justice in Miami-Dade County. We view public policy through a racial equity lens: virtually all public policies either advance racial equity or increase inequities.  Our MCARE Board of Directors — composed of student leaders, human rights lawyers, physicians and social justice advocates– reflects our richly diverse, multiracial Miami community.

“When you blame victims of homelessness you take the focus off the structural issues that cause homelessness.”

David Peery, MCARE Founder and Executive Director

MCARE Board of Directors

David Peery, Chair, Executive Director

David Peery serves as the Chair of the Consumer Advisory Board of the Camillus Health Concern community clinic, which serves the homeless population of Miami. David also served as the federal class representative in the Pottinger v City of Miami consent decree that protected certain rights for unhoused persons in the City of Miami. He is active in several national homeless rights organizations, and sits on the Board of Directors for the National Health Care for the Homeless Council. David has a law degree from George Washington University and works as grant writer and health care
regulatory compliance consultant.

Adrian Madriz, Vice Chair

Born in New Orleans and raised in South Florida, Adrian is a community organizer by trade, with political, campus and non-profit organizing experience. His past causes include both of Barack Obama’s Presidential campaigns in Florida, student organizing at the Episcopal Chapel at the University of New Orleans and Housing Organizing in Liberty City through the Miami Workers Center. Through his housing organizing, he has become a local leader on the issues of gentrification and slumlords, and on the technical aspects of affordable housing development for extremely low-income residents in Miami. In addition to his role with MCARE, Adrian also serves as Executive Director of SMASH Miami.

Matthew Marr, Secretary

Matthew D. Marr, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Sociology in the Department of Global & Sociocultural Studies and the Asian Studies Program at Florida International University. His research focuses on homelessness in the US and Japan, exploring how urban marginality is shaped by social conditions operating at multiple levels, from the global to the individual. His first book is Better Must Come: Exiting Homelessness in Two Global Cities (Los Angeles and Tokyo) published by Cornell University Press. At FIU, he teaches courses on urban sociology, research methodology, and Japan to stellar undergraduate and graduate students.  

Kat Duesterhaus, Treasurer

Kat Duesterhaus (they/them) is an activist and community organizer with more than 7 years of experience working freelance in digital media. Kat is passionate about Equity and Housing Justice, and has lived the experience of being homeless. Kat is active in a multitude of social justice organizations including Florida N.O.W., RAINN’s National Speakers Bureau, Florida Council Against Sexual Violence, and the Sexual Assault Response Teams of Palm Beach, Martin, and St. Lucie County. Kat also brings a track record of legislative successes that include Donna’s Law, Gail’s Law, as well as diversity to our Board as a member of LGBTQ+ community.

Emelie Jimenez, FIRE Chair

Emelie Jimenez is the Chair of MCARE FIRE (Friends Innovating for Racial Equity) a network of social justice activists under the age of 35 years old who support MCARE’s racial equity campaigns. Emelie also serves as the IGNITE National Miami Dade regional fellow, a bi-partisan political advocacy organization training young women to run for office. Prior to joining MCARE, Emelie interned for Centro Emergenica de Mujer and La Defensoria Municipal del Niño y del Adolescente in Cusco, Peru. There, she provided aid to young mothers and children to legally escape domestic and sexual violence by offering resources such as psychological treatment, legal guidance, judicial defense, and information on where to find safe housing with the help of local lawyers.  Her experiences sparked her passion in fighting for good governance and addressing the barriers in our legal system for low-income citizens.   As a student at Florida International University, Emelie founded the BC Community Project, a student organization dedicated to providing resources through community service as well as securing a pathway for transitional housing for the chronically homeless in South Florida.  Born and raised in Miami, Florida, Emelie is a first-generation Cuban American and she plans on pursuing a career in diplomacy/policy work.

Stephen Schnably, Esq

Stephen J. Schnably is  Professor of Law at the University of Miami School of Law, where he teaches and writes in the areas of constitutional law, property, international human rights law, and criminalization of homelessness. He was a cooperating attorney with the ACLU in Pottinger v. City of Miami. The Pottinger consent decree, approved by the federal district court in 1998, modified in 2014, and terminated in 2019, has been hailed as “the gold standard” in civil rights litigation to protect the constitutional rights of homeless persons. He currently works as a cooperating ACLU attorney in other matters relating to the criminalization of homelessness, including challenges to anti-food sharing ordinances.

Sabrina Hennecke

Sabrina Hennecke is an MD/MPH candidate at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, McGill University graduate. She has extensive experience in nonprofit and NGO policy work for Health Action International, based in Amsterdam, where she was a member of the Snakebite Team. There she worked to educate and lobby political leaders for awareness and action on snakebite envenoming – a World Health Organization “Category A Neglected Tropical Disease.” As a University of Miami medical student, Sabrina has co-founded a number of activist organizations including Miami Street Medicine that serves unsheltered persons living on Miami streets. She has authored several newspaper OpEd articles raising awareness on issues that impact underserved populations. Sabrina aspires to become an Emergency Medicine Physician, working in the NGO and/or policy sector.

Dan Bergholz

Dan Bergholz is the Founder & Executive Director of Miami Street Medicine and a Founding Director of its parent organization, the Dade County Street Response. He’s currently enrolled in medical school at the University of Miami. Prior to medical school, he worked as a behavioral therapist for children with autism. He also studied Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Neuroscience at the University of Colorado. In his free time, he enjoys painting, writing poetry, training Muay Thai, and hiking in the mountains with his girlfriend and dog.

Lily Oster, MD

Michael Clarkson

Let’s build something together