MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A program that has given hundreds of homeless people in Miami access to showers and a hot meal is shutting down.
Starting Friday, Camillus House, one of the city’s largest homeless shelters, will start scaling down their “day center” program, according to our news partners at the Miami Herald.
Anthony Anderson is just one of many that call the day center home for a few hours a day.
“Well there’s nothing like having a good shower.. putting on clean clothes, having somewhere where you can have a piece of mind,” Anderson told CBS4’s Bianca Peters.
The program will now be limited to the first 110 men and 40 women who show up at the Allapattah campus just off NW 7th Avenue.
It doesn’t end there.
Starting July 1st, Miami-Dade County’s Homeless Trust is expected to stop financial support due to recent federal funding cuts meaning the program will cease.
“The program had been funded through H.U.D, department of housing and urban development, through the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust. They’ve realigned some of their priorities…they see these type of programs as local programs that need to be resolved locally so they’re no longer funding it,” said Camillus House’s Vice President of Market Sam Gil.
The day center normally serves about 340 non-residents of the shelter each day, according to Chief Operating Officer of Camillus’ House Eddie Gloria.
Amid the cuts, Camillus House had said they tried to find a private sponsor for the program which costs about a $1 million but they were unsuccessful.
“We now encourage the community to not only help financially….because these are lives that we are helping that we are impacting, with real tangible services but also to be advocates,” said Gil.
The program has filled an important need in Miami which has about 600 people living on the streets.
It’s also something that is important for business owners and residents who are worried that ending the program will mean an increase in the amount of homeless people on the streets during the day.
The looming closure seems like it may reignite tensions between the Homeless Trust and downtown boosters. Both sides have clashed before over how money is spent in the area.
Residents of downtown Miami said they planned to attend the Homeless Trust’s Friday meeting to urge the organization to re-fund the program.
Homeless Trust Chairman Ron Book says that’s not likely after recent cuts in federal funding. He said he told providers about six months ago they had a year to find new sources of funding.
People like Anderson are grateful for the program but he does have one request.
“I would ask people who have a heart…who have the income to be able to help someone less fortunate.. as you bless others you’re blessed as well,” said Anderson.
They have over 40 programs at Camillus House, ranging from permanent housing to drug recovery programs and they are in need of desperate help. For those who want to give financially or give their time can click here.