Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust Takes Next Step to End Chronic Homelessness by Joining "Zero: 2016"
Participation follows successful campaign aimed at permanently housing Veteran and chronic homeless
The Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust announced today it is joining Zero: 2016, a national movement to end chronic homelessness by December 31, 2016.
The invitation to participate follows Miami-Dade County’s successful participation in the 25 Cities Initiative, a collaboration between the United States Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD), Veterans Administration (VA), United States Health and Human Services Department (HHS), the Miami-Dade Public Housing & Community Development Agency (PHCD) and the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust (HT), to speed up an end Veteran and chronic homelessness.
“Our community of providers is aggressively working to meet HUD’s goals of ending Veteran homelessness by 2015 and chronic homelessness by 2016, but we need the best playbook to know what’s working best with this population – the toughest population to get off the streets,” said Ronald L. Book, Chairman of the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust. “Zero: 2016 is one more tool in our arsenal to make sure we succeed. Getting to zero is going to be immensely difficult, but programs like this provide insight we simply wouldn’t have if we did it alone.”
Joining Zero: 2016 is another step the Trust is taking to forward momentum on ending chronic homelessness in Miami-Dade County. Other steps include:
- Miami-Dade became part of a select group of counties across the US using the “Housing First” model. Housing First means the most vulnerable homeless are offered permanent housing and supportive services regardless of issues they may have related to substance abuse, mental illness or disabilities. In Miami-Dade, this program has a 95% percent success rate.
- The Trust led the County in its first ever “vulnerability survey” where trained professionals used special assessment tools designed to identify risk factors for every homeless person on the streets of the County. This allowed for prioritized placements within the Trust’s Continuum of Care. More than 1600 vulnerability assessments have been completed.
- The Trust is spearheading efforts to energize landlords and developers to participate in affordable housing programs. Local leadership is pooling resources to incentivize use of set-asides, low interest loans, and operating subsidies. Access to affordable housing for the homeless and formerly homeless is foundational to successfully meeting HUD’s mandates.
As part of Zero: 2016, with guidance and technical assistance provided through the non-profit Community Solutions, the Trust will receive access to high level support, best practices, and networking on how to best end chronic homelessness by 2016.
The August 2014 Point-in-Time Census results show there were 792 street homeless in Miami-Dade County, down 7% from the same time the year before when the Trust counted 848 street homeless. According to the survey, sheltered homeless increased by 8%, from 3,103 in August 2013 to 3,349. An estimated 240 Veterans are considered homeless.