MIAMI – A coalition of homeless advocacy, social justice, legal, and other groups rallied on Thursday at Miami City Hall to oppose a proposed ban on homeless people camping on public property in the City of Miami.
The rally took place at Miami City Hall to oppose the ordinance, which was introduced by Commissioner Joe Carollo.
“I’ll be heartbroken… my heart will be broken,” says Cathedral Beauford who does not have a home.
Beauford says she she is heartbroken by this proposed ordinance in the City of Miami that would ban homeless encampments on public property.
She lives outside of the Government center and is asking for opportunities for homeless people to get their own homes. “We need keys, we need help,” she says.
“We are out here today to oppose this horrendous proposal to ban encampments throughout the city of Miami,” says homeless advocate Jeff Weinberger.
Carollo introduced the ordinance, which was passed on first reading back in September with only commissioner Ken Davis opposing.
Although there are a number of shelters in Miami, advocates for the homeless say that doesn’t solve the problem.
“Shelter by definition is homelessness, it’s just a more invisible form of homelessness,” says Weinberger.
However, proponents of the ordinance say encampments block sidewalks, and leave litter and human waste on public walkways.
If the ordinance passes, someone in violation could face criminal and civil penalties, which include jail time and a fine of $500.
“Housing is a human right,” says Weinberger. “We won’t go without a fight.”