About the Homeless Trust
The Homeless Trust organizes and directs the Miami-Dade County Homeless Plan. Created by Miami-Dade County Ordinance 94-66, the Trust was formed to:
- administer proceeds of a one-percent (1%) food and beverage tax;
- implement the local continuum of care plan called the Miami-Dade County Community Homeless Plan (1 MB)
- serve in an advisory capacity to the Board of County Commissioners on issues involving homelessness.
The Trust's annual budget is comprised of local food and beverage proceeds which are used to leverage federal, state and private funding. The Trust is a proprietary department and receives no general fund dollars from the County.
What is the 1% Food and Beverage Tax?
At the time of the Trust’s funding, it was clear that the private sector alone could not support the needs of the community. The Florida Legislature, supported by Governor Lawton Chiles and the Miami-Dade County Commission, made it possible for there to be a 1% sales tax on food and beverages sold in the larger restaurants in our community. Fifteen percent of the funds received would be allocated to the Domestic Violence Oversight Board.
Specifics on the Tax:
A one percent (1%) Homeless and Domestic Violence Tax is collected on all food and beverage sales by establishments that are licensed by the State of Florida to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises, except for hotels and motels. Only businesses that make over $400,000 in gross receipts annually are obligated to collect this tax.
The Homeless and Domestic Violence Tax is collected throughout Miami-Dade County with the exception of facilities in the cities of Miami Beach, Surfside and Bal Harbour. Eighty-five percent (85%) of the tax receipts goes to the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust, and fifteen percent (15%) goes to Miami-Dade County for domestic violence centers.
For more details, read about the Homeless and Domestic Violence Tax on Sale of Food and Beverages.
Why the Trust was Created
In the early 1990s, more than 8,000 people were camping on the streets and sidewalks of Miami-Dade County. Health standards were compromised; street safety dubious. Independent non-profits overwhelmed. Something had to be done to ensure the health and welfare of homeless individuals in an organized, efficient manner.
In 1992, Governor Lawton Chiles appointed leaders to a Governor’s Commission on Homelessness, chaired by Alvah Chapman and led by many other influential thought-leaders, businessmen, and elected officials. Together, they created a plan to tackle the problem which led to the creation of the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust. In 1993, the Board of County Commissioners approved a Plan to End Homelessness and outlined the functions of the Trust.
The Trust is not a direct service provider. Rather, it is responsible for the implementation of policy initiatives developed by a 27-member Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust Board, and the monitoring of contract compliance by agencies contracted with the County, through the Trust, for the provision of housing and services for homeless persons.
Through its policies and procedures, the Trust also oversees the utilization of the food and beverage tax proceeds dedicated for homeless purposes, as well as other funding sources, to ensure the implementation of the goals. Additionally, the Trust serves as the lead applicant on behalf of the County for federal and state funding opportunities, tracks homelessness data and develops and implements the annual process to identify gaps and needs of the homeless continuum.
Recognized as a national model by U.S. HUD, and host to countless visitors hoping to replicate our model across the country, the Trust provides funding for more than 8,000 beds that serve hundreds of individuals and families annually.
Most recently, the Homeless Trust has been selected to participate in Zero: 2016, a national effort to end chronic and veteran homelessness. Involvement in this effort follows the Trust’s successful participation in the 100,000 Homes Campaign and 25 Cities Initiative. Together, these initiatives bring our teams to the table with the best thought-leaders on homelessness. Through a shared learning environment with continually evolving performance management strategies, we ensure we move our mission forward to end homelessness, utilizing the best possible proven programs and services.
Homeless Trust Leadership
The Trust is chaired by Ronald L. Book, Esq. and Vice Chaired by Rabbi Solomon Schiff. Judge Steven Leifman serves as Treasurer. Victoria L. Mallette is the Trust's Executive Director.
Homeless Trust Staff
The Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust has 16 employees, including the Executive Director and the Assistant Executive Director. Trust staff are all County employees governed by the County-established rules of conduct and other relative policies and administrative orders.
Trust staff provides support to the Trust Board, ensures that the Trust Board meets on a regular basis, maintains full Board occupancy, presents policy issues and concerns, and implements their mandates on a timely basis. Staff is also responsible for policy research and document preparation. In addition, staff oversees the daily administration of contracts with local providers for the provision of housing and services for the homeless.
Homeless Trust Board
The composition of the Board is outlined in the Trust’s bylaws. The Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust is governed by a 27-member Board of Trustees, which includes representation from the city and business community, elected officials, formerly homeless persons, religious leaders and homeless advocates. The Board meets monthly.
Every year the Trust provides the Mayor and the board with a topline report of successes against Trust priorities. Read our 2016 State of the County Highlights.
Chapman Partnership (formerly Community Partnership for the Homeless) is the not-for-profit 501(c)(3) approved agency that is the private sector partner of the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust. Chapman operates the “front door” into the Trust’s Continuum of Care and has done so for more than 21 years, assisting more than 100,000 individuals and families.
The Miami-Dade County Domestic Violence Oversight Board (DVOB) was created to serve in an advisory and oversight capacity to the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners with respect to issues affecting or relating to domestic violence.
Specifically, the DVOB was created to serve in accordance with State Law, to develop and submit to the Board of County Commissioners a comprehensive plan for the use of the portion of the local optional food and beverage sales tax proceeds dedicated to the provision of domestic violence centers as prescribed in Chapter 2, Article LXVI of the Code of Miami-Dade County.
As part of this plan, the DVOB is further charged with pursuing and maximizing available federal and state matching funds and monitoring and evaluating the provision of services to domestic violence victims.
The Board consists of 15 members; 13 members are appointed by the County Commission and two members are appointed by the County Mayor. Members represent service providers, domestic violence victims, and advocates, members of the judiciary, impacted jurisdictions and the Public Health Trust. The Board does not provide direct client services.
Victoria L. Mallette, Executive Director
Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust
Elizabeth Regalado, Executive Director
Domestic Violence Oversight Board
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