Miami’s Village (Free)dge gets eviction notice, scrambles to find new home

MIAMI – Miami’s Village (Free)dge food pantry is getting evicted from its home in the Liberty City neighborhood.

Its operators said the move came without warning.

Dade County Street Response, another nonprofit, is also getting evicted from the Northwest Seventh Avenue building.

“The manager of Gator Realty showed up and said ‘the sheriff is on the way and you have to pack your things and get out,’ so we had to do what we had to do and pack our things and prepare to move out,” Village (Free)dge founder Sherina Jones said.

To make matters worse, Jones said the $3,800-per-month space has had numerous structural issues, including a gaping hole in the roof.

“This is not habitable,” she said.

Dr. Armen Henderson, who practices internal medicine at the University of Miami, founded the Dade County Street Response medical nonprofit, serving the underserved in the Miami area.

He said he’s been in a back-and-forth legal battle with the owners, Gator Investments, over the structural integrity of the building.

“We withheld rent maybe eight months ago or so,” Henderson said. “We had a lawyer and we were doing it legally and at some point they just decided that it wasn’t worth it to even deal with us anymore.”

Henderson is now working out of a mobile clinic on Northwest 54th Street.

Jones said she’s still in a holding pattern said having no warning and nowhere to go on such short notice is stressful. 

Henderson said with with gentrification happening up and down the Seventh Avenue corridor, it’s a money move.

“In Miami, they own a lot of property along this Seventh Avenue corridor, which is a very lucrative business now in terms of owning property,” Henderson said. “This has become prime real estate. It’s a Black neighborhood.

Local 10 News reached out to Gator Investments for comment, but the company has not returned our calls or emails.

About the Author:

Alex Finnie joined the Local 10 News team in May 2018. South Florida is home! She was raised in Miami and attended the Cushman School and New World School of the Arts for high school.