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Tackling Homelessness in Miami: Nonprofit Hermanos de la Calle and Mayor Francis Suarez Lead the Charge

Posted at 8:59 AM, Jun 27, 2024

Homelessness affects thousands of Miami residents regularly, but a collective effort spearheaded by the nonprofit organization Hermanos de la Calle and the City of Miami aims to change that. Determined to make a significant impact, Mayor Francis Suarez and Hermanos de la Calle have set ambitious goals to reduce and ultimately eliminate homelessness in the city.

"We have been focusing on this as a community for a long time and we've made tremendous progress. We've reduced homelessness by about 90% since we started the Homeless Trust many years ago," said Mayor Suarez. "Currently, there are 630 unsheltered homeless individuals in the city, and our goal is to work with Hermanos de la Calle to be the first major American city to figure out how to end homelessness."

Earlier this month, Mayor Suarez hosted a charity gala dedicated to benefiting Miami-Dade's homeless population. The event successfully raised $1.2 million for the cause, showcasing the community's compassion and commitment. The gala brought together Miami's leaders in support of Hermanos de la Calle, also known as Brothers of the Streets.

"Hermanos de la Calle is a nonprofit based and created here in Miami. We started seven years ago…, and now we are a full outreach organization. We provide housing for the homeless, outreach for homeless veterans, and support for migrants here in Miami," explained Narciso Munoz, founder of Hermanos de la Calle.

The organization's model focuses on renting homes and placing homeless individuals in these homes, then finding them jobs or connecting them with untapped benefits. This approach has already shown promising results, particularly with homeless veterans.

"A few years ago, we reached what we call functional zero veteran homelessness, meaning that we had essentially zero homeless veterans certified by the federal government. When that happened, it dawned on me—why aren't we trying to achieve functional zero overall?" Mayor Suarez reflected. "People told me not to say that we want to end homelessness, that it's not doable. But if you never set audacious goals, if you never have the vision and the courage to strive for something that's never been done before, you're certainly never going to get there."

Hermanos de la Calle's approach, combined with the city's support, aims to make Miami the first major American city to effectively address and eliminate homelessness. Their model of providing housing and employment opportunities is a testament to the belief that significant, positive change is possible with dedication and community effort.

For more information and to get involved, visit Hermanos de la Calle's website, hermanosdelacalle.org. Together, Miami is working towards a future where everyone has a place to call home.

Inside South Florida

10:49 AM, Jul 26, 2019

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