During the pandemic, Maria Acevedo lost her income. “I had rent and the landlord couldn’t pay it, so I was thrown out on the street,” says Acevedo. Finding herself helpless, she contacted the Homeless Trust helpline and along with her dog, she was placed in this unit in the Mia Casa community in North Miami along with other elderly residents who for some reason found themselves homeless. Residents like Ida del Cristo, who was left helpless when her daughter died and spent four months sleeping rough.

At a ceremony on Friday where locals sang alongside middle school students, the Homeless Trust, which worked with Mia Casa to house senior citizens, announced that it had purchased the property to house 120 residents of over 65 who have become homeless. The purchase was made thanks to a $5 million grant from the Miami-Dade Department of Public Housing and $1.75 million that state lawmakers were able to secure. “We have huge problems with homelessness among the elderly in particular. 39% of homeless people currently experiencing homelessness are 55 and older,” said State Senator Ileana Garcia.

Mia Casa is designed as temporary housing, the idea is to help these residents move forward. Over the past three years, some 600 residents have passed through. “We are very committed to moving forward with building more,” Miami Dade Mayor Daniela Levin Cava said.

Emotional on the podium, Ron Book, the chairman of the Homeless Trust, said residents include an 80-year-old woman who was sexually assaulted on the street, another who lived in her car and a 92-year-old retired doctor years. who has been the victim of identity theft.

In Mia Casa, in addition to food and housing, they receive essential social services and care. “They gave me such beautiful love and everything is very good, wonderful. I have a roof, I have everything, air conditioning, I have everything,” says Ida Del Cristo.

It is the first of four properties the Homeless Trust plans to buy for the elderly. If you or someone you know is concerned that you may be homeless, you can call the Homeless Trust at 1-877-994-4357.

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