Homeless Awareness Day 2021 (HAD) served as an opportunity to show thanks to hundreds of frontline workers, including homeless outreach teams and emergency shelter staff who tirelessly worked through the pandemic to keep individuals experiencing homelessness healthy and safe.
HAD is the largest single-day community event of its kind in the nation. Held in Miami-Dade County every November, it unifies schools, faith-based communities, thought leaders, government entities, and non-profits in a full day of programming to raise awareness and build compassion for individuals and families experiencing homelessness.
On November 4th, our day started with a surprise thank you breakfast at Hard Rock Café Bayside for over 100 Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust outreach workers.
The Homeless Trust also formed “Gratitude Brigades” which traveled from North Miami to Homestead visiting with Homeless Trust partners and providers from Mia Casa, a quarantine and isolation site for senior citizens 65+, to The Salvation Army to Miami Rescue Mission to Camillus House to Lotus House with a final stop at Chapman Partnership North and South. Homeless Trust leadership visited the sites and brought along VIP badges, cafecito from La Cafetera, live music from Mariachi Sol De Oro and cookies from Cindy Lou’s to celebrate the unfailing service of these local heroes.
Our nine pop-up events set the stage for the Homeless Trust’s Chairman Ron Book and Executive Director Victoria Mallette to meet one-on-one with more than 400 employees for a moment of personal thanks and reflection.
The Homeless Trust also partnered with Project UP-START and Miami-Dade County Public Schools for a high school homeless education event at St. Thomas University. Eighteen schools and nearly 500 students from across the community were welcomed for an inspirational and educational pep rally. Students were provided information on how to further conversations about homelessness in the classroom, and ways in which they could get more involved in preventing and ending homelessness.
From food drives to sock drives, South Florida students studying at Rockway Middle School, Hialeah Miami Lakes Senior High School, Lawton Chiles Middle School, Michael M. Krop Senior High, American Senior High School, and Joella C. Good Elementary collected over 1,500 socks and cans.
Real change begins with you, thank you.