MIAMI – A group of Miami police officers start every day talking with those waking up on the streets -- not to make arrests or to look for wrongdoing, but to simply check on them and offer assistance and shelter.
It's all part of their duty as members of the Miami Police Department's Homeless Outreach team.
Officer Anna Lazcano is a member of that special team and she makes her rounds daily with the crowds that gather near Camillus House off Northwest Seventh Avenue.
Last week, Lazcano was flagged down to help a disabled, homeless man, Rafael Alvarez, who could not get his wheelchair to open.
"I went and got him the one he's sitting on right now," Lazcano said. "Regardless of where they are from, where they ended up and what they're doing with their life, it's just helping the community. It is what we're all about."
Alvarez, who moved to Miami from Cuba in 1980, relies on his wife, and until they can secure housing together, they'll both remain homeless on the streets of Miami.