New buildings will now rise in the Liberty Square Public Housing Project, but what about the people who will live in those buildings?
The proposed plans are little more than placing a Band-Aid on a gushing wound.
That wound is absent fathers and the crime, violence and social decay that come from that result.
It is not just the buildings in Liberty Square that are broken.
Many of the families who live in those buildings are broken, too, but the proposed rebuilding plans fail to address this basic problem in a meaningful way.
I presented a program called Safe Harbor to Miami-Dade County that was based upon the Peace Corps concept.
The idea is to set aside a section of Liberty Square as a secure, gated community for single moms who volunteer to live in the village-like community in which paid, well-vetted young men could live rent-free and provide the families with round-the-clock support.
It would be their job to know the whereabouts of the children in the village at all times, to assist with school work, to expose them to positive experiences outside of the community, to teach and model anger management and most importantly, to be available virtually on a 24-hour hour basis. An early childhood specialist and a police officer would live rent-free in the village.
County housing bureaucrats killed the idea, arguing that the women would feel segregated and that “baby daddies” would object to surrogate dads taking their places.
To test those assertions, I conducted focus groups in several public housing projects in the county and the response from over 200 residents was overwhelmingly supportive.
In addition to bricks and mortar, the Related Group would do well to rebuild some families, too.