Miami Commissioner Wants Residents to Take in the Homeless to Resolve City’s Homelessness Issues

Miami Commissioner Joe Carollo is proposing an “adopt-a-homeless” program so that residents can alleviate the city’s homelessness issues.

On Wednesday Carollo said, “If there are as many kind-hearted people out there as some claim to be out there, I would expect them to step up.”

Carollo believes that his proposal “could be a solution.” Unfortunately, many homeless advocates do not agree with his “adopt-a-homeless” program.

“This cannot in any way be a serious proposal,” said David Peery, an attorney who once was homeless and now works with homeless people. “Commissioner Carollo is distracting attention away from a very serious problem that we have with homelessness in our city. … It feels intended to make fun of activists,” he said, adding that the resolution was taking away from having a “substantive discussion” about solutions to end homelessness.

Carollo compared his proposal to how the state handles child foster care, and he said that the city could find funding for those who house homeless individuals.

According to the Miami Herald, the proposal comes after a heated exchange during public comment at the Oct 14th commission meeting. Commissioners were set to vote on a contentious legislation that would criminalize homeless encampments and allow violators to be arrested. The encampment prohibition, according to Carollo, is in response to concerns from residents about tents and furnishings used by people living on the street blocking sidewalks.

Commissioners said they needed more time to consult with activists and come up with alternate ideas, so the decision on the camping ban was postponed for two weeks. It will be broadcast once more on the same day as the “adopt-a-homeless” program.

Carollo proposed that individuals advocating for homeless persons “adopt a homeless” themselves after multiple people came up for public comment to condemn the rule.

“Well, I certainly got the hornet’s nest going,” he said at the activists yelling at him in City Hall. “I’m sick of this hypocrisy.”

The new resolution would “provide aid to the homeowners in the city that are willing to assist the local homeless population by welcoming a homeless individual into their home to live with them by providing a bed and daily essentials such as food, electricity, and any other necessities as deemed appropriate by the program at no cost to the city.”

Adrian Madriz, the executive director of Struggle for Miami’s Affordable and Sustainable Housing said that “Even if all the activists in Miami were to adopt one homeless person it would be a drop in the bucket in addressing the greater issues.” She said, “It’s not citizens’ responsibility to be individually providing the social programs and services that we pay taxes for and elect commissioners and a mayor to develop and implement. That is their job.”

“Sign me up,” said David Winker, an attorney and housing rights advocate. “It would really be a statement to have a tent in our front yards, showing that we as private citizens have to do something to address this issue. It shows the city isn’t doing its job.”

Commissioner Ken Russell told the Herald that the city does not need to come up with fresh ideas to help the homeless population.

“In the City of Miami, 500 units of permanent supportive housing would get people out of shelters, which in turn would take more people off the street,” Russell said. “We have the land and we have the funds and I hope to work with my fellow commissioners on proven solutions that we can implement now.”

On Wednesday, Carollo dismissed the idea, claiming that it would be too expensive and unfair to those living in pricey poor homes who have been waiting for a better alternative in an exorbitant market.

“How could I tell people that live in Little Havana, Little Haiti, Allapattah, Liberty City and Flagami that we can’t build housing for them, who have been working, struggling to pay ridiculous rents?” he said. “But we’re going to build housing for people living in the streets?”

Carollo has already used the commission agenda to make a show of his position, despite insisting on Wednesday that his proposal was genuine

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Hi All, my name is I’esha and I’ve been a writer for baller alert for 1 year and 2 months. I’m also a student and entrepreneur .

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