Hello beautiful souls! I had the honor of being chosen as one of the advocates to film a PSA fighting against homelessness here in Miami. James Jones of the Miami Heat, his beautiful wife Destiny and myself all filmed this PSA with Thom of the M Network in the hopes to raise awareness to a cause that some people seem to just ignore.
HOMELESSNESS IS A SYMPTOM OF A BIGGER PROBLEM
Everyone knows that I am a huge advocate for the mentally ill. It is estimated that about 25% of the homeless population suffers from some form of mental illness while many mentally ill also use drugs/alcohol as a means to self medicate. The Florida Senate has proposed to cut the entire 204 million dollars in adult mental health funding/ substance abuse funding from Florida’s budget.
What does this mean?
Oh, it means a lot. Homelessness is a SYMPTOM of a bigger issue. If we cut the very lifeline of people’s mental stability what else are we risking? This may prevent people from job stability. No job= no money. No money equals more stress. More stress can lead to domestic abuse, child abuse, drug abuse, etc. These people are then faced with losing their homes AND their freedom! Were you aware that approximately 20% of the inmates in jail are mentally ill? Maybe with a little forward thinking and compassion we could have prevented this! It costs roughly $50,000 for the govt to feed, clothe and house an inmate per year. What do we do? Build more jails of course. As much as it costs to house inmates you better believe that private corporations are making a KILLING off of prison labor (whole different blog post…)
Florida we ‘gots’ to do better. We rank 49th in state spending on the mentally ill and 43rd in number of homeless children. Coincidence? I think not. Our education system is lacking down here in Florida as well. Any city, state or country that cuts back on educating it’s youth will reap the not so wonderful, very scary rewards in the future.
So what can you do?
Maybe you think that it is helpful to give your spare change to panhandlers in the street? I used to. Admit it! Some of the signs they hold up pull at your heart strings! Out of guilt and sympathy it was estimated that people in Miami gave about 40 million dollars to pandhandlers last year alone! WOW! Only one problem. Most (80%) panhandlers aren’t homeless and most homeless don’t beg. o_O
I know this may be shocking to you because it was to me too! The reason you see the 700+ people in the streets at night is that there isn’t enough room in the shelters! Wouldn’t that $40 million given to panhandlers have solved the space in shelters issue and even found some permanent housing solutions for some families? Yep.
I introduce you to the Homeless Trust. This group donates 100% of the donations in a concerted effort to end homelessness. On December 8th (Homeless Awareness Day) we are asking you to take to Biscayne Blvd…all the way from University of Miami to Aventura. Bring your cardboard sign and your loud voice! Let’s get people to be UNIFIED. Give to the HOMELESS TRUST!
Check this video out: