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CHECKING OUT THE HOMELESS POPULATION IN THE CITY OF MIAMI
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NUMBER 123 - MAY 11, 2020
On Sunday afternoon I took a drive to see what the homeless situation looked like on the streets of Miami. It was not an exhaustive drive covering all of the city, but rather I focused on the portions of Overtown and downtown Miami that I have on previous occasions photographed and written about.
I have several personal observations, which can be verified in the videos below.
First, it appears that the number of homeless in the areas that I looked at seems to have diminished.
For instance the usual groupings of homeless people along Miami Avenue and on SW 1st Street behind Macy's have all but disappeared. The same for the grouping along SW 3rd Street from NE 1st Avenue to NW North River Drive.
There seems to be a smaller, although not that much smaller concentration of homeless around NW 1st Avene and 13th - 14th Streets.
Its hard to estimate how significant the reduction is because I did my drive around between 4 and 4:30PM.
Its been my experience that a better guesstimate of how many homeless people there really are on the streets of Miami is to drive around either after midnight, or just around sunrise because a significant number of homeless people seem to have places to go during the day and only hit these areas at night to sleep.
I'm sure that Ron Book will claim credit for any reduction in the numbers of homeless people on the streets, and whatever the Homeless Trust has done and it's to their credit for what they have done.
However, from anecdotal comments made by Commissioner Carollo at last week's meeting, and talks with folks who live in the city, it would seem that smaller groupings of homeless people are settling in in Little Havana and other parts of the city.
One significant change seems to be that a larger number of homeless people in Overtown have obtained tents, which seems to have been Commissioner Hardemon's big concern.
I would think that these tents represent an effort to protect themselves against the rainy weather - we are supposedly starting our annual rainy season this week - than in nefarious efforts to engage in illegal activities.
In any event, the first video is one that I edited to include only the Overtown streets, and the other covers my entire drive around the streets.
Again, I didn't go down every street, nor did I get out of my car to take individual photographs, but I do think it give at least a snapshot of what the homeless situation looked like in downtown Miami on the afternoon of May 10th.