According to lobbyist Ron Book, Miami’s politicians overlook efforts to move the city’s unhoused people off the streets.
Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust Chairman and lobbyist Ron Book have this week spoken out following an apparent oversight by City of Miami elected officials. According to the Chairman, the City of Miami has failed to respond to his organization’s proposed plans sent to the City in March 2022 to put temporary roofs over the heads of Miami’s chronically homeless.
“After more than six months, there’s been no response to the Homeless Trust’s proposed plans to put roofs over the heads of the city’s chronically homeless,” Book and his team had previously approached Miami officials with various proposed measures focused on providing short-term housing to chronically homeless members of the local community and in March, put it in writing to City Mayor Francis Suarez.
One measure involved buying multifamily buildings using the $12.7 million in COVID-19 federal relief funds the city has received. So far, reports suggest that none of that funding has been used to address homelessness.
Why local officials have chosen not to respond, Book says he doesn’t know. “I don’t have the answer,” he remarks, “but I’m certain that we have some great ideas to continue our partnership with the city to address homelessness in any case and to respond to the City’s cries for more help.”
Ron Book notes that this failure to respond marks the second time that the Homeless Trust has received the brushoff recently. Even though the Homeless Trust Chairman has already identified several viable properties for acquisition. Under Chairman Book’s guidance, the organization has also outlined extensive renovation plans for these properties.
Book says he and the Homeless Trust were, in any case, open to recommendations from the local administration. That includes in terms of identifying other properties and making ensuing renovations. Book subsequently suggested that since local officials receive so much, perhaps it is simple as just missing my letter of offer. The plans simply “got past them.”
“Maybe it got past them,” he remarked in a recent telephone interview with The Miami Times. Either way, the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust Chairman remains committed to the concept of creating a community of homeless residents within existing buildings.
These existing buildings, Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust Chairman Ron Book says, are the type that can be purchased to house people on the streets quickly. “All that we need is money,” he suggests.
To move forward with these and other plans, Book hopes to arrange a scheduled sit-down with City of Miami Commissioners Joe Carollo and Christine King as well as Mayor Suarez to make his pitch again.
“I’m hopeful that meetings with Commissioner Carollo and Commissioner King will take place in the not-too-distant future,” adds the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust Chairman in closing.
Homeless Trust Chairman Ron Book
Ron Book is a prominent Florida lobbyist who has solidified his position in upper local and State government over several decades. His expertise spans affordable housing, economic development, healthcare, and social services. As of 2022, the Homeless Trust Chairman has influenced public policy decision-making for over 40 years.
Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust
The Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust is a 27-member Board of Trustees led by Chairman Ron Book. Chairman Book’s trustee board includes representation from Miami-Dade County’s elected officials and the local business community, plus formerly homeless persons, homeless advocates, and Miami-Dade County religious leaders.