Participated in 's #TreyUSA photo walk in downtown #Miami tonight with hosted by . For those who listen to the Show, you've heard our discussions about homelessness. For those who live in Miami, you know about the skyrocketing cost of rent, and rising cost of living too.
As we made our way from our starting point at McCormick's Place in downtown Miami, the signs of a homelessness were everywhere; we walked under bridges, up SE 1st Street, under highway overpasses, metromover central station and east on Flagler Street into Bayfront Park.
As the photo walk group milled about the Bayfront Park fountain (an old school municipal government boondoggle) on the surrounding hard concrete apron, I began to notice the numerous homeless residents camped out on the other side of the railings. They were hidden in plain view. Downtown denizens often despise these individuals, many of whom suffer from severe mental illness. However, they have just as much right to their lifestyle - as unorthodox and different it may be - as we do to ours, and our courts have affirmed this in the "Pottinger" decision which has governed the City of Miami's actions, mandating the humane treatment of these fellow human beings.
Recently, there have been numerous fights locally about what to do. Nobody wants people with nowhere else to go - sometimes literally- sitting on their doorstep. Ultimately, the county and city acquiesced to a "Housing First" model espoused by the Miami-Dade Homeless trust. Without funds to rescue all 1007 homeless in Miami-Dade County today (a 90% reduction from a decade ago), it still leaves a signifiant amount of people sleeping on the street.
I thought this photo best symbolized the dichotomy of Miami. The old man was sleeping, and seeing the trees, it evoked in my mind the youtube tv show called "Between Two Ferns" by Zach Galifanakis. Only, instead of a fake set with real trees, we find a man, a regular man, in between two palm trees. I thought this was far more appropriate a name for the situation in Miami, than Galifanakis,
#OnlyinMiami would you see a resident of Bayfront park, with a waterfront view like this, and no rent to pay.