MIAMI (WSVN) - City of Miami commissioners came to a decision regarding a policy for the homeless population.
Government officials went back and forth as to what to do with its homeless population, Thursday.
Commissioners heard arguments for three, what have been described as transition sites, for the homeless. One of them would mean 50-100 tiny homes placed in a designated zone for people experiencing homelessness.
The transition zone was first suggested back in 2021 by Commissioner Joe Carollo where the idea is to connect homeless people with social services.
Initially, this plan was rejected in a 3-2 no vote.
“We voted against that,” said one of the commissioners at the meeting.
Commissioner Alex Díaz De La Portilla, however, switched his vote just a couple of hours later, when this came back up at that meeting. Now, it has been approved in a 3-2 vote in the other direction.
“My objection based on the issue was based on the limited number of sites that they offered and on lack of due diligence they took in offering those sites,” said Diaz De La Portilla.
The City of Miami tried cleaning up tent cities and encampment neighborhoods in recent years, attempting to balance the needs of the community.
Those tiny homes are now scheduled to go forward.
Department of Human Services officials identified five different locations to discuss zones for the homeless community: Virginia Key (being the most controversial location), Liberty City off Northwest 71st Street and Fifth Place, Allapatah, an area near Camilla’s House on Sixth Avenue and a municipal parking lot off of First Street.
Virginia Key Advisory Board Chairman Joe Rosco believes that this is an infrastructure issue.
“The human services that are required to take care of the homeless are not anywhere near Virginia Key, and so there is no mass transit to Virginia Key,” said Rosco. “These things need to be considered when you’re coming up with this decision.”
City officials are not the only ones expressing their concern. Those who live on the streets of Miami spoke at the meeting.
“I’ve been homeless now, hardcore, for four years,” said a homeless woman at the meeting. “But we can do things differently, so when you approach a perception, etcetra, and when you’re all telling me that it’s voluntary, you are not going to get these people to go there.”
Another homeless woman, Marielena Rodriguez, was among the people who expressed her disagreements.
“Yes, there’s three different tiers of homeless people,” said Rodriguez. “You need to sit down and speak with us. You need to find out exactly what each and every one of us individually needs because not everyone needs to be victimized.”
Community leaders have not decided how this agreement will affect taxpayers yet. They will choose a definitive site in September.
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