Former Homeless Voice shelter demolished in Hollywood
Demolition part of city's $300 million investment
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – The former Homeless Voice shelter was demolished Tuesday in Hollywood.
The building is already a shell of its former self, filled with broken glass and concrete. For 13 years, the building was the base for the Homeless Voice newspaper, which is sold at red lights throughout Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
Horace Brawley watched the demolition take place with a heavy heart.
The former college basketball star said he was once homeless but never felt that way at the shelter.
"It meant a lot to me because it put me in position to be where I'm at now," Brawley said. "Working, job, sales manager, having self-esteem, and I think that had a lot to do with it."
The owner of the Homeless Voice estimates that there are more than 30,000 stories like Brawley's echoing through the demolition site.
Even still, he understands the community's desire to redefine the Federal Highway corridor.
"This is an area they want to redevelop from the airport down," Sean Cononie said.
"This is no longer a good fit?" Local 10 News reporter Andrea Brody asked.
"No. They are spending millions and millions and millions of dollars on this corridor, so they might as well make it worthwhile," Cononie said.
The 200 residents who most recently called the building home are already in Orlando at America's First Homeless Resort. (The actual name of the shelter.)They leave behind businesses that also embrace a new beginning.
"This is a very happy day because we are much more safe here in the community and around here," ABC Hardware owner Giovanna Rincon said.
Business owners and residents were the driving force behind the relocation. The city is now looking for a new buyer, one that more closely fits its vision and its investment of $300 million.
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