News Release Header
For Immediate Release:
November 06, 2013
Media Contact:
Lisa Mozloom
lisa.mozloom@themnetwork.com
305-528-5341

Homeless Awareness Day 2013 to Bring Out Thousands

November 14th events honor the unsung heroes who rescue the homeless; thousands in the community unite to learn & teach about homelessness; County commemorates the Homeless Trust's 20th anniversary


Twenty years after headlines such as “So Many Plans, So Little Cash” (Miami Herald, May 18, 1992) documented the conditions of the homeless in tent cities under overpasses, the 5th annual Homeless Awareness Day will again raise awareness on this important community issue, while marking a milestone in local efforts to assist the neediest.

On Thursday, November 14, 1,000 Miami-Dade County public school students will rally, 2,000+ volunteers will participate in Cardboard Brigades, and more than 140 business leaders and elected officials will recognize the individuals who created today’s homeless system of care, and those who literally save lives every day by working with the chronically street homeless.   Below is an overview of scheduled activities:

8 - 9:15 a.m. The 2013 Homeless Awareness Day Business Breakfast:  Honoring the Unsung Heroes of the Homeless.  For twenty years, Outreach Workers have worked the streets to help and often save, the homeless. These professionals, who are the lynchpin of the Trust’s award winning Continuum of Care, will be honored publicly for the first time. Standing alongside these incredible people will be individuals recognized as this year’s “Change Agents”: Betty Chapman, widow of former Knight-Ridder Publisher and community leader Alvah Chapman, and several former legislators who were sponsors of the Food and Beverage Tax legislation that helps fund Homelessness and Domestic Violence programs in Miami Dade County.  Mr. James Jones of the Miami Heat will close out the morning with an inspiring keynote presentation on his experience with homeless and at-risk youth.

Where: Miami-Dade College, Building 3, The Chapman Conference Center, 300 NE 2nd Avenue.

10:30 - 11:30 a.m. 900 Students at High School Rallies. These high energy, multi-media events will educate and entertain students regarding ways to end homelessness. Events will feature personal testimonies from the formerly homeless who speak candidly about their life experiences and answer live questions from the audience.

Where: The two events take place simultaneously at 10:30 am: University of Miami’s Fieldhouse at the BankUnited Center at 1245 Dauer Drive, Coral Gables AND Florida Memorial University’s Lou Rawls Performing Arts Center, 15800 NW 42nd Avenue, Miami.  NOTE:  Dr. Alberto Carvalho, Superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, will attend the FMU event.

Daylong:  Cardboard Brigades occur throughout the day.  Toting signs that re-iterate anti-panhandling messages, approximately 2,000 volunteers with schools, clubs, churches and private organizations, will take to the streets and sidewalks to support the homeless.  Locations forthcoming.

Daylong: “Socks on a String.”  The City of North Miami Beach is finalizing its month-long sock-drive for the homeless.  Brand new socks have been hung on strings and collected in boxes throughout the area.  Socks will be donated to the Miami Rescue Mission for distribution before Thanksgiving.  For more information call (305) 948-2986.

About Homeless Awareness Day:  The Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust is pleased to be the driving force behind five consecutive years of Homeless Awareness Day events.  The day is designed to raise and create awareness and unify providers, our community, families and students in an effort to educate and inspire change, and ultimately, end homelessness. The Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust is the coordinating entity for the local system of care that has resulted in a reduction of street homelessness from more than 8,000 twenty years ago, to fewer than 900 today. For more information go to: www.miamidade.gov/homeless/.

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About The Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust:  Founded in 1993, The Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust is a county agency headed by a board of 27 volunteers which serves in an advisory capacity to the Miami-Dade County Commission charged with the responsibility of implementing the Miami-Dade County Community Homeless Plan. These volunteers represent the business, religious, educational, provider and political communities, along with formerly homeless individuals. For more information regarding The Homeless Trust visit www.homelesstrust.org.