Poverty
3:23 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Miami Celebrates Homeless Awareness Day With Rallies

The Homeless Trust works to end homelessness in Miami.
Credit Phillip Pessar/Flickr

Nov. 14 is Homeless Awareness Day in Miami-Dade County. For the event's fifth year, the Homeless Trust is putting on Homeless Awareness Day rallies aimed at publicizing the homeless' plight, as well as celebrating individuals who have dedicated themselves to the cause. An opening ceremony honored the Homeless Trust's outreach workers, known as the "green shirts."

Green shirts talk to people living on the streets and provide information about services and programs available to them if they want to improve their situation. 

The Homeless Trust, a major force driving the reduction in the county's homeless population, announced this morning it will refocus its mission toward a first-housing approach.

The approach would provide permanent housing to the homeless regardless of substance-abuse, mental-health or physical-health problems. This makes Miami-Dade one of 225 other communities in the nationwide 100,000 Homes campaign, which seeks to end homelessness.

The trust has worked to end panhandling in Miami, and provided alternatives such as parking-meter-like machines dressed in Romero Britto's artwork, from which the organization can collect donated change.

For Homeless Awareness Day, 3,000 students and volunteers will rally throughout Miami holding anti-panhandling signs. Some Miami high schools will also hold rallies to educate students on how to end homelessness in the county.