homelessness

News
2:57 am
Wed March 11, 2015

Miami's Proposed "Anti-Camping" Law Targets The Homeless

Jorge Clabijo settles in for the night as Miami Police officer Gregg Vassari chats with Kevin Key in downtown Miami on Tuesday, February 17, 2015.
Credit Patrick Farrell / Miami Herald

UPDATE: At a meeting Thursday, March 12, the Miami City Commission deferred a final vote on the proposed "anti-camping" law for 30 days.

The Miami City Commission has a final vote scheduled for Thursday that would make it illegal for the homeless to camp out on public property.

The commission tentatively approved a version of the law on February 12 that banned “camping paraphernalia” such as sleeping bags and bedding.

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News
11:28 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Miami Commissioner To Modify Homeless "Anti-Camping" Law

Jorge Clabijo settles in for the night as Miami Police officer Gregg Vassari chats with Kevin Key in downtown Miami. Key decided to move to a shelter as Miami’s police outreach team worked with the homeless by offering shelter in the Mat Program.
Credit Patrick Farrell / Miami Herald

The City of Miami recently approved a preliminary law that would make it illegal for homeless people to erect tents on public sidewalks.

The law also prohibits setting up blankets and pillows on sidewalks, which concerned homeless advocates and prompted criticism that the city was criminalizing homelessness.

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State of Downtown
3:53 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

WATCH: Commissioner Sarnoff Says Downtown Miami Is "Best It's Ever Been"

Jorge Cantero, with MS International Real Estate has a taste of Mediterranean quinoa salad from Chef Alex Rodil, who has a new catering business in Miami called On the Fly. Samples of Miami area food and beverages were on hand during the first State of Downtown event hosted by the Miami Downtown Development Authority at the MDC Museum of Art Design at the Freedom Tower Friday evening, Feb. 27, 2015.
Credit Emily Michot / Miami Herald

Miami’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA) held its first ever “State of Downtown” event Friday evening to showcase the growth of Miami’s urban core. Miami Commissioner and DDA Chairman Marc Sarnoff says downtown is on the upswing. 

"We’re about to make leaps and bounds, progress that we haven’t made in years and years," Sarnoff said. "Miami is putting the pieces together that it needs for a vibrant economic engine."

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News
6:42 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

HUD Awards Florida $84 Million To End Homelessness

Credit Emily Michot / Miami Herald

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded Florida $84.3 million to support homeless services and housing facilities across the state.

Nationwide, HUD gave $1.8 billion, making Florida the sixth-largest recipient, trailing New York and California.

The funds will go to support what’s called the continuum of care -- a group of coordinated services that a homeless person moves through as he or she goes from the streets or shelters into some sort of permanent housing and ultimately, self-sufficiency.

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News
5:44 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Miami-Dade County Trying To Count Homeless Children

Miami-Dade County's iCount hopes to identify the number of homeless kids living within it's boarders.

By the end of January, all four South Florida counties will have conducted their yearly homeless counts as required by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The numbers help local homeless initiatives figure out where to put their resources and if there have been any major shifts in the demographics of its homeless population.

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Feature
6:46 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Could A New Tool Put Miami-Dade On A Track To End Homelessness?

Stock photo courtesy of Flickr user Jim Fischer.
Credit Jim Fischer / Flickr CC

Volunteers will go out late Thursday night to count the number of homeless people living on the streets of Miami-Dade County. Many of the 840 tallied last year are the hardest to help because they’ve been homeless for so long.

But the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust has implemented a new tool members think could put a serious dent in the number of street homeless going forward. It’s called the VISPDAT, the Vulnerability Index Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool.

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News
2:33 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

Guide Meant To Help Homeless Advocates Fight "Homeless Hate" Laws

Arnold Abbott has become the public face of efforts to overturn laws that some say criminalize the homeless.
Credit Lynne Sladky / El Nuevo Herald

  Efforts to regulate homeless activities and services in Fort Lauderdale have come under a microscope over the last couple months as advocate Arnold Abbott fights new city regulations on how and where food can be distributed to the homeless.

He is now battling that law in court after receiving three citations for continuing his food services illegally. A Broward County judge has since suspended the ordinance until early February.

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Politics
4:56 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Speaks Up About Homeless Debate

Arnold Abbott cited for breaking Fort Lauderdale ordinances on feeding the homeless.
Credit Lynne Sladky / El Nuevo Herald

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler is adamant about the city's ordinances relating to homeless issues. He has said, as have other city commissioners, that the laws are for public safety.

That hasn't softened the blow of the international scrutiny from social media as well as the late night shows, including The Colbert Report.

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The Florida Roundup
11:40 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Florida's Role In Shaping The Political Landscape

On The Florida Roundup, NBC’s Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd joins us to talk about the changing political landscape nationally and Florida’s role in shaping it, including President Obama’s expected action on immigration reform.

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News
7:47 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

A List Of South Florida's Regulations On Homelessness

Click the link to the left to explore an interactive explaining some of the most recent homeless regulations
Credit WLRN

Fort Lauderdale has come under fire for arresting a 90-year-old man who was feeding the homeless after the city passed tougher regulations on how outdoor “feedings” can be held.

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Living
7:10 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Defends City's New Homeless Laws

Credit Wikimedia

This year Fort Lauderdale commissioners passed a series of laws that have homeless advocates livid.

For example, it's now illegal to sleep in public places in the city's downtown. It's also illegal to beg for money at major intersections within the city. Most recently, a new set of rules were approved that make it harder for non-profits and churches to feed the homeless.

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News
1:14 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Fort Lauderdale Cracks Down On How Groups Can Give Food To The Homeless

Fort Lauderdale is considering cracking down on how the organizations feed the homeless out on the sidewalks.
Credit Creative Commons via Flickr / Wicker Paradise (https://flic.kr/p/ecyRbQ)

UPDATE Oct. 22, 12 p.m.: The regulations passed by a four-one commission vote around 3:30 Wednesday morning. 

Adding to crackdowns on where homeless people in Fort Lauderdale can sleep, go to the bathroom, and store their belongings, the city is now attempting to regulate how outside organizations provide food to them.

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Homelessness
12:11 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Executive Director Of Homeless Trust Talks About New Role

Around 800 people are homeless living on the streets in Miami-Dade County. The Homeless Trust was established to help those individuals.
Credit Wilson Sayre

Vicki Mallette is wrapping up her first 90 days as the new executive director of the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust. She left her post as acting director of development, advocacy and communications for Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces to assume the  new position.

The Homeless Trust was founded in 1993, when there was a public call to deal with the thousands of men, women and children living on the streets, in shelters and in transitional housing across the county.

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News
12:52 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Key West Seeks Site For Homeless Shelter

A relatively new but now leading candidate for the site of a homeless shelter in Key West is the city-owned transit center on Palm Avenue.
Credit Nancy Klingener / WLRN

On a three-by-five-mile island, finding a site for a homeless shelter is no easy feat.

Almost 700 people in the Keys are homeless, according to the most recent count. Key West is the island chain's largest city and has the largest homeless population.

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Homelessness
12:16 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Florida Sees Record Number Of Homeless Kids

Florida saw record numbers of homeless children in the latest numbers out from the U.S. Department of Education, but most of them will not get any housing assistance.
Credit Filckr user Joseph Choi / http://bit.ly/1DwVFIs

A record number of homeless students are attending Florida Schools according to new numbers out from the U.S. Department of Education. Almost 70,000 kids in the state were homeless during the 2012-2013 school year, a 10-percent increase compared to the national average of 8-percent.

However, most of those kids are not recognized as homeless by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which acts as a clearinghouse for many social services available to the homeless.

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