Frequently Asked Questions

Who are the persons referred to as the chronically homeless, and how many of them are there in Miami-Dade County?

The federal government’s definition of chronic homelessness consists of two separate, but related criteria. Read more...

Isn’t the goal of ending homelessness in a democracy unrealistic?

The goal of ending homelessness in Miami-Dade County is shared by the Homeless Trust and the agencies serving persons who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless. The goal of Camillus House is to end chronic homelessness in Miami-Dade County, while recognizing that persons who are chronically homeless are the most difficult to treat/rehabilitate and return to productive roles in our community. Read more...

Does Camillus House have the expertise to achieve its goal of ending chronic homelessness?

Camillus House has been providing services for persons with substance abuse problems for nearly 20 years, and currently receives funding from the US Department of Health and Human Services to operate (a) the Federally Qualified Health Center for the Homeless for Miami (through Camillus Health Concern), and (b) our substance abuse and mental health treatment services (through our Institute of Social and Personal Adjustment). Read more...

How many persons do you expect to serve at the new Camillus House Center site annually?

We estimate that, once fully operational, our new campus will serve approximately 4,500 individuals per year, including medical and behavioral health treatment clients, persons on job training/search and other homeless persons and persons at-risk of becoming homeless.

Is this project going to make Miami the state (or national) Mecca for the chronically homeless?

Not likely. According to the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust, that among persons who are chronically homeless in this community: 37.5% (or 3/8) have lived in Miami-Dade County all of their lives; 37.5% (3/8) have lived here for five years or longer; and only 25% (1/4) have lived here for less than 5 years. As these statistics demonstrate, persons who are chronically homeless generally do not tend to be geographically mobile. This observation was recently addressed by City of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado, a member of the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust, who stated that persons who are chronically homeless tend to not relocate to Miami from other parts of Florida or from other states.

The proposed design continues to provide overnight shelter beds, including for the first time shelter beds for women. Does overnight shelter promote or inhibit long term homelessness?

While there is a general movement away from overnight shelters toward the “housing first” model in which homeless persons are immediately placed into permanent housing, at this time there are several advantages to maintaining our current level of overnight shelter care. Read more...

What are the differences between permanent and transitional housing?

Permanent housing refers to what the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development calls permanent supported housing, which provides affordable housing tied to supportive services, such as ongoing addiction or mental health treatment, case management and help with life skills. It is called permanent because there is no time limit on how long people can stay in their permanent housing setting.  Read more...

What is the Homeless Trust, and how does Camillus House relate to it?

The Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust was created in 1993 by the Board of County Commissioners to: 1) to administer the proceeds of a one-percent food and beverage tax; 2) to implement the Miami-Dade County Community Homeless Plan, the local continuum of care plan; and 3) to serve in an advisory capacity to the Board of County Commissioners on issues involving homelessness. Read more...

What are the Homeless Assistance Centers, and how do they relate to Camillus House?

The Chapman Partnership (formerly Community Partnership for Homeless) is a not-for-profit 501(c) (3) corporation, governed by a Board of Directors. Its mission is to operate two Homeless Assistance Centers and to raise the private funding necessary to assist in the implementation of the Miami-Dade County Community Homeless Plan. Read more...

What is the possibility of replicating the program in other cities?

Very high. The Camillus House Institute of Homelessness Studies (IHS) was established in 2003, and is positioned to become the nation’s third major clearinghouse dealing with issues related to homelessness. A research, training and knowledge transfer organization, the specific focus of IHS is on helping civic leaders, human service professionals and interested citizens in major cities to end chronic homelessness in their cities. The work of IHS was substantially advanced through a major grant from Bank of America.

To date, IHS: (1) has sponsored its first national symposium on the role of health professionals in eliminating chronic homelessness; (2) begun work on a curriculum for first-line staff working with persons who are chronically homeless; (3) published materials on the concept of hospitality as it applies to services for persons who are chronically homeless; (4) begun work on Forty Nights and Forty Days, a book and CD set highlighting, in their own words, the life experiences of persons who are currently chronically homeless in Miami: and, (5) provided to other programs serving persons who are chronically homeless printed materials on Camillus House’s treatment programs, staffing levels, job descriptions and policies and procedures. The Camillus House approach is being studied and replicated by funding and service agencies in several cities on a regular basis.

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