Faces of Homelessness

NEIGHBORS 4 NEIGHBORS FACES OF HOMELESSNESS AWARENESS CAMPAIGN

 Through existing media partnerships with WFOR/ WBFS, CBS newspapers, magazines, Miami Herald, and social media, we will educate and engage our neighbors regarding homelessness.  A call to action will drive them to the website where greater detail on the issue is available with links to providers & volunteer opportunities.

We see them every day on our way to work, school, errands.  People with signs, asking for help.  Sometimes we give, and sometimes we look away.  It is difficult to see and questions come to mind.  Why isn't somebody doing something to help these people or get them out of our face?  Miami Dade County has one of the most comprehensive Homeless outreach programs in the country.  The workers are dedicated and know each and every person out there. But none of our neighbors know or see that.  Education on the homeless issue has not been a funding priority, as more and more families seek shelter.  Money must be used to house, feed and provide services.  An awareness of the numbers of families and youth in unstable living conditions is critical, along with an opportunity for people to engage in being part of the solution.  Currently there is no focal point for homeless volunteer opportunities.  We propose a media campaign that includes a website to match volunteers with homeless provider opportunities.  The 2013 count results were 2,895 in Shelter and transitional housing, and 839 on the street. Families transitioning out of shelter need everything, including mentors and goods. The issue of homelessness crosses over into numerous areas of priority concerns.  Youth transitioning out of foster care are increasingly in unstable living conditions. Families are seeking shelter with relatives, friends and cars.  We want to educate, engage and empower our neighbors to make a difference.  UNLESS SOMEONE LIKE YOU CARES A WHOLE AWFUL LOT…NOTHING IS GOING TO GET BETTER.  IT’S NOT.

For the past 22 years, Neighbors 4 Neighbors has used the power of media to connect those in need with those who can help.  In 2013, Helpingfeelsgood.org, a website that matches nonprofit client needs with volunteers was added to the mix, giving people a chance to register and sign up for projects that match their skills.  Seeing the wide areas of interest, and willingness to help solve community challenges, we want to take that a step further and focus on critical community areas of concern, such as homelessness.  Through media partnerships with WFOR, WBFS, CBS newspapers and magazines, Miami Herald, and large social media network, we will engage and educate our neighbors.  A call to action will drive them to the website where greater detail on the current campaign topic will answer FAQ on the subject, and offer links to volunteer opportunities.  Provider agencies will be featured with links to their websites.  Links to related videos such as the documentary on Miami Dade Homeless Outreach Teams, and stories about solutions and acts of kindness.   Outreach and collaboration with all Miami Dade Homeless providers, the Miami Dade Homeless Trust and Miami Coalition for Homeless is a critical part of success.

Our goal is to create an awareness of the true face of homelessness, and encourage our neighbors to become a part of the solution.  Education is a large part of the intended outcome.  Engagement of volunteers will be tracked through our website and provider partners.  A goal of creating an atmosphere of understanding could play out in schools by showcasing Youth engaging programs of the Homeless Coalition.

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