Rescue mission

Many families one paycheck away from homelessness – CBS Miami

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Rescue Mission says it expects more families to call in search of shelter due to the cost of living in Miami.

“A large percentage of families, not just individuals but families, are one paycheck away from being homeless,” said Alexis Chaviano, case manager at the Miami Rescue Mission.

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The Homeless Trust census shows that in January 2022 there were 970 homeless people on the streets and 2,470 homeless people in shelters.

The Miami Rescue Mission says it sees around 200 people a day come for their only hot meal of the day.

“What I see is that it affects women and children more. A lot of these families aren’t necessarily homeless because of addiction or mental illness, it’s because they don’t have enough income,” said the Reverend Oscar Cannon, housing coordinator at the mission. MiamiRescue.

Homelessness is becoming a real problem in South Florida

The Reverend Oscar Cannon said he expects an increase in calls for families to seek accommodation because the housing market is so expensive.

So much so that even Rescue Mission workers are struggling to pay their rent.

“I can’t pay 1,000 rent a month,” Chaviano said.

Chaviano is a full-time employee and says that if the rescue mission didn’t provide him with housing, he would be homeless.

“Without a doubt, without a doubt. And I’m not talking about a $20,000 salary either,” Chaviano said.

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Chaviano said he recently saw more and more people showing up in search of shelter and food.

If you are looking for help finding accommodation or paying rent, you can contact the Homeless Trust and someone will contact you if you are eligible for help.

You can reach them at (305) 375-1490.

Ron Book, president of the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust, says the housing market is a huge problem, even though it hasn’t seen an uptick due to evictions and foreclosures.

“We have the most expensive and least affordable rental housing market in the United States. We urge landlords and property managers to make rental properties available to our people,” Book said.

In 2022, there are 138 more homeless people housed than last year.

Miami-Dade County Public Schools said 6,312 of their students and families are considered homeless, up 530 students from last year.

“When we count student homelessness when we count K-12, the reason Miami Dade County and Miami Dade Public Schools have such a higher number than what we use is that the school system recognizes couch surfing and double, triple as being in a homeless state,” Book said.

Book says the US Department of Housing and Urban Development doesn’t recognize someone as homeless if they have a roof over their head.

This means that someone who does not have a permanent address is not considered homeless.

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Thus, the actual number of people who do not have a real home could be higher.