Last week, it was confirmed that 241 shelter beds will be made available by Oct. 1 with a dedicated focus on the chronically homeless and those living on the streets of downtown Miami. After weeks of negotiations, we have come to a conclusion that begins to satisfy the needs of all involved.
The city of Miami, where an overwhelming majority of the homeless live, will receive the relief it was seeking through these additional placements. Dr. Rolando Montoya, chair of the Downtown Development Authority’s Homeless Task Force, specifically called for this attention.
The Homeless Trust will institute its downtown Strike Force program and adjust the needs of the program based on an upcoming homeless census count scheduled for the next two weeks. The city of Miami police will have access to “Pottinger eligible” beds to continue to offer alternative, humane placements that will be off the streets of Miami.
Additionally, the 73 clients who are currently housed in the shelter program will be moved into the Homeless Trust’s continuum of care. In total, 314 homeless men, women and now children will be placed in more permanent and secure housing.
As we move forward, we would ask that Miami Beach, Bal Harbour and Surfside become part of the food and beverage tax contribution to the Homeless Trust to allow for a further expansion of funding available to continue our community-wide efforts and responsibility in addressing homelessness.
I would like to thank Trust Chairman Ron Book for his apology during the very public debate over how best to address this issue.
I understand his passion on the issue as I, too, get equally passionate about issues affecting our residents and businesses.
]This was never about two individuals, but instead about the outcome that all parties eventually agreed upon last Friday.
We appreciate everyone who contributed to the discussion, and especially Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, who acted like a statesman in his role as a mediator.
In the end, the real victory will go to those 314 people who will soon have a safe place to call home, as well as those who will come after them, for the Trust’s continuum of care will allow many more to seek these beds as outcomes are generated.
Marc D. Sarnoff, commissioner, District 2, City Commission, Miami