MIAMI – Protestors gathered outside of Miami City Hall on Thursday opposing a proposed ban on homeless people camping on public property in the City of Miami.
“They want to solve homelessness by putting all the homeless people in jail,” explained protestor Adrian Madriz.
The rally took place at Miami City Hall to oppose the ordinance, which was introduced by Commissioner Joe Carollo. The ordinance passed on first reading back in September with only commissioner Ken Davis opposing.
The ordinance outlaws homeless encampments on public property, meaning if a police officer approaches a homeless person, they may offer them an alternative. However, if said homeless person turns it down, they can be arrested.
On Thursday, the second reading of the proposed ordinance took place, with many people present—on both sides of the issue.
“I am in favor of homeless, but not of keeping the homeless on the streets,” explained Silvia Perez who is in favor of the ordinance, but with exceptions. “They need to be housed. If the shelters are not safe, clean them up. Make them safe. I support Commissioner Carollo who’s thinking outside the box.”
On Thursday, Carollo also introduced a floating resolution to “adopt the homeless” — basically welcoming the homeless into your home coined the “Adopt a Homeless Resolution.
“If people do support the homeless, it’s all good. Take them home. Put the money toward supporting them, and help clean up Downtown Miami,” said Desiree Lasrado.
Public comment was still going on as of noon on Thursday. A lot of people waited in line outside of the building so they could cast their vote either in favor or against the proposed ordinance.
Commissioners will address the issues after public comment.