If you’ve ever driven on I95 in Miami, you’ll see Miami homeless at every exit. In addition, many of Miami’s bridges have become camps for the homeless of Miami.
Now a new idea has been proposed to move the homeless to an island in Biscayne BaY.
This study is being conducted by the City of Miami and if approved, would study the benefits of removing homeless people from city streets and placing them in a city-sponsored encampment on Virginia Key -which is a state park. As stated by Mayor Francis Suarez, “This program will not solve homelessness but it’s part of our strategy.” It may be difficult to convince some people that this is a good idea as many are concerned about the impact
This idea of setting up a homeless shelter in a residential area has sparked some opposition from community advocates and could cause federal funding for countywide homeless initiatives to dry up.
City commissioners of Miami will be discussing a list of five proposed locations for the creation of a temporary shelter zone for street dwellers, including temporary shelters and access to social services. This list was compiled by city staff after thorough analysis.
A presentation that will be made at the meeting by the city’s department of human services will discuss a concept which resembles some projects in other United States cities. The presentation will mention that in some cases, nonprofit or religious groups have helped with these programs. Other cities have not placed camps on islands.Ron Book, chairman of the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust, told the Miami Herald the agency will not support any such encampment because it does not adhere with federal guidelines tied to programs that are meant to encourage a “housing-first” philosophy to address homelessness — an approach backed by the publicly funded county agency.
We will see what the Miami city fathers decide to do about this situation with the Miami homeless.
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