From a curator of conversation to lifestyle cultivator, Kimmy B. has been a voice guiding South Florida for over a decade, and we are proud to call her a friend and advocate for Homeless Awareness Day.
Kimmy prides herself on helping to make a difference in our community. There’s not a person around that doesn’t meet her and feel immediately connected - she can speak to anyone about anything, anytime and anywhere in ways that are memorable and meaningful.
We sat down with our friend Kimmy B. to learn more about her relationship with The Homeless Trust. We discovered she would love for the community to advocate for homeless awareness not only on Homeless Awareness Day but 365 days a year!
What have you learned about homelessness that surprised you and has changed how you engage on this issue?
“The team at The Homeless Trust has made me so aware of best practices when it comes to dealing with homelessness in our community, and unfortunately, it goes against the grain of who a lot of us are used to, in terms of empathy and caring.
So often we find ourselves at a stoplight and we want to give somebody our spare change or buy them a meal. Unfortunately, all that does in a lot of situations is enable them to remain on the streets for another day, another week, another month.
We are so blessed to have an organization like The Homeless Trust; not every city has that- not every city has a group of people who are pioneers like Ron Book, who was committed 20+ years ago to eradicating homelessness in his community.”
You empathize with this issue personally - has homelessness had a personal impact on you or your friends?
“It is again one of those situations where radio has helped open my eyes because we are the people’s voice. I have been blessed because it is only through experience that you can really kind of wrap your brain around how significant the situation is and how close so many people are to needing the resources of The Homeless Trust.
I think the other eye-opening thing with the Miami-Dade County Public Schools System is that they have taken such a proactive stance on ending homelessness for their students. You have no idea how many kids live in limbo daily in our community [and] that don’t have a steady, stable address to use. They are couch surfing and jumping from relative to relative or friend to friend, or couch to couch.”
What would you say is the reason our community should stop for a moment and learn about homelessness?
“Falling on hard times doesn’t have to be a ‘death sentence’. It doesn’t have to be the end of the road for you. It can be rock bottom, but if you can look at it from a perspective of ’all I can do is go up from here’….then you need to take advantage of resources our community offers through organizations like The Homeless Trust and Chapman Partnership.
I would say go to The Homeless Trust website, follow The Homeless Trust on social media, just because they do a great job of getting out information - and I would tell them to talk to friends and family about it.
We are extremely blessed to have a team like the team we have here, dedicated 24/7 to getting people off of the streets and getting them into a better situation, because they don’t want that to be the end of the road for them.”
Words of advice for young people?
“When we look at the homeless population, a lot of them are battling chronic mental health issues, which have led to addiction issues…which have led to the loss of stability in their lives and lack of ability to hold down a job, or criminal record, which make it difficult to rent an apartment-- so there is this domino effect, and a lot of it starts with conversations we don’t want to have. So I implore this generation if they see an injustice, bring it to light.
They have the power. That is the best thing I can say, as young people, you truly are so powerful - you have your voice. You have the power. You have the commitment. You have the wherewithal. You have the means, the tools. You have the platforms with social media - USE THEM- because you are powerful.”