The readers’ forum

Give Miami the tools to deal with the homeless


Our family has owned and operated a single-location department store in downtown Miami since 1965. We have worked hard to build our business and serve our customers daily. We are also residents of downtown.

In 2005, we relocated and updated our store to a larger space on Flagler Street with the vision of helping create a vibrant urban core. Though we have come a long way since 2005, many people tell us that they do not want to come downtown because they are afraid of the people who are homeless.

Since we were teenagers working at the store, we have seen the same homeless man, Charles, walking the streets of downtown. We watched our father try to help Charles, but he always refused all attempts. Twenty years later, we, too, have tried to help him, but Charles is still living on the streets of downtown.

He belongs to a small part of the homeless population that prefers to remain on the streets. Daily he faces the unfortunate realities of not having proper bathroom facilities, shelter or food. Under the current law, the homeless can urinate, defecate or start a fire to cook, without any repercussions. A city of Miami resident, however, would be arrested, as would a homeless person outside the city boundary. Miami should have the same laws as every other community in the county regarding the homeless.

We have been involved with the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust and are proud of the excellent programs it has implemented. However, today’s laws were created before resources existed for the homeless, and essentially allow them to damage the quality of life for other citizens.

Our family supports the city’s efforts to amend the Pottinger settlement so that the homeless can get the help they need and so that all residents are equally protected under the law.

Brian, Randy and Pepe Alonso,

La Epoca, Miami

Read more Letters to the Editor stories from the Miami Herald

  • Ray Allen home was violated

    Young people who are 18 and 19 are not “teens.” They are, at best, young adults, eligible to vote and serve in the military. Teens younger than this have been charged and convicted as adults for murder and other crimes.

  • Riots and rubble

    We need to keep a clear perspective about the world. A black youth is killed by a white cop in Ferguson, Mo. I took note because I grew up in Webster Groves, a hop, skip and jump from Ferguson. Michael Brown allegedly was shot six times in broad daylight with his hands up. This seems excessive. There’s much confusion swirling, and we’ll have to wait until it is sorted out.

  • No fear

    Re Archbishop Thomas Wenski’s Aug. 17 letter, Same-sex marriages would open Pandora’s Box: I do not see a Pandora’s Box. I see sisters and brothers, sons and daughters, cousins, the dearest of friends. I want to give them my love and support for all good things; not limits on aspirations, ambitions and fulfillment, that are rooted in fear. I do not fear a Pandora’s Box. I am Roman Catholic and I was told, “Be not afraid.”

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category