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The Homeless Services Program was established in 2003 to address a rapid growth in the Citys homeless population.

The program operates under the Department of Real Estate, Housing and Community Development and is located at 555 17 Street. The office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 5:00pm. Our main function is to provide homeless outreach to those who are homeless in Miami Beach. The team, otherwise known as the homeless outreach team (HOT) is comprised of seven people. The intake worker is always happy to assist those clients who walk-in to our office. Our six case workers make up three mobile teams, two teams during the day and one evening/weekend team. They are available Mondays through Fridays 8:30am to 5:00pm and Thursdays through Mondays from 12:00am to 6:00am. The focus of HOT is to reduce the number of homeless in the City by addressing the issues that keep them on the streets. HOT provides information, referral and placement to hospitals, detox and crisis units, emergency shelters, transitional and permanent housing as well as bus tokens, relocation assistance, identification replacement among other services. In order to build rapport HOT will contact an individual several times, once it is established, it may take many more times to get someone to accept services. Often it takes several times of someone coming in and out of shelter, before they finally decide to become self-sufficient; but, our teams are always there, as many times as it takes, without judgment to help someone get off the streets. It takes a special kind of individual to conduct outreach. This person has to be willing to be told no over and over again, to be yelled at, cursed at and yes, sometimes even have things thrown at them before they can get someone off the streets. They endure smells you cannot even imagine and deal with individuals who have all sorts of mental health issues and substance abuse disorders. They never know who they will interact with next. However, nothing is more rewarding then seeing someone who has been homeless for 22 years get off the street and into their own apartment; or for someone who has been homeless for 15 years go into shelter and adapt so well that when they come by to say hello they look like a completely different person, almost unrecognizable. A good example would be the elderly lady who used to sweep Washington Avenue, also known as the sweeper. She had been homeless for over 30 years and one day the outreach team met with the sweeper and told her they had found a new job for her sweeping the floors at Oceanside Extended Care, located at the corner of 9 th street and Pennsylvania Avenue. The sweeper walked right in to Oceanside, was greeted by the loving staff, given a meal, a shower, a manicure, and soon began sweeping the floors of the facility. The sweeper has been there ever since. Another service the program provides is relocation assistance to those able to reunify with family or friends. The person willing to accept them is contacted and must specifically state that the person will be living with them and will not be homeless once they arrive at their destination. The person is then provided with a ticket and food for their journey home. In 2011, the identification replacement assistance program was introduced, this program assists the homeless in replacing their birth certificates and other identifying documentation necessary to obtain a state issued picture identification card and some immigration documents. Assisting with this process allows for the

homeless to be able to apply for benefits (such as food stamps), apply for work and in some cases enter into housing. HOT has worked hard to build our collaboration with other City departments, such as code compliance, sanitation, fire, and police. A new program was launched through our collaboration with the police department, the program teams the outreach workers with an officer assigned to liaison with our office. Officer Llamoca has been a welcomed addition to our team. He takes a no-nonsense, yet understanding approach to dealing with the homeless. Together we can get the help to the homeless who truly want assistance. For those homeless who chose to refuse services and would rather commit crimes, also known as vagrants, we step aside and let the police do their jobs. This combined effort has had positive results. One example is the individual who was well known to HOT, homeless for over 20 years, and always came in for food or bus passes, but never accepted shelter. He had a lengthy arrest record for public intoxication and was used to receiving a slap on the wrist as punishment and being released from jail within several hours, but on this last arrest Officer Llamoca went to his bond hearing. The individual was very surprised and worried when he saw Officer Llamoca in the court room. Officer Llamoca was able to cite the homeless mans many arrests, the numerous offers by homeless outreach for shelter along with his refusals and was able to convince the court to offer him jail time or the option of on one year probation rather than release him back on the streets. He accepted the probation. The next day the individual came by our office stating he was ready for to go into shelter. When asked why, he stated that if he stayed on the streets he would definitely violate his probation, but being in shelter would guarantee he would get his act together and comply with his terms. Many times we are asked how many homeless people are there in our City. Well, the last count, held on August 30, 2012 was 186, with most of the homeless residing in South Beach. That number is 15% less than the count conducted on June 30, 2011 of 218. We hope the numbers will continue to decrease as we are able to increase the number of shelter placements we make, weve seen an increase in placements by 28% in the last two years, 735 people were placed in the last fiscal year. The number of beds available to our outreach teams in shelters has also increased, as of October 1, 2012, we have been allocated an additional 52 emergency shelter beds, a 61% increase, by our partners at the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust. The Trust also funds a portion of our outreach teams, emergency hotel stays for our homeless families with minor children when there is no space available in shelters, and our identification assistance program. The Homeless Trust also recently rolled out a campaign with the goal of ending homeless in Miami-Dade County. Instead of giving your spare change to panhandlers, which enables them to remain on the street instead of going into shelter, you can place your spare change in one of the 11 Romero Britto designed meters throughout the City (or the 10 located in the Joes Stone Crab parking lot). 100% of monies collected in these meters are used for shelter and indoor meal programs for people experiencing homelessness. This campaign allows you to continue to give generously to end homelessness, in a manner that is effective and allows accountability.