'Feed the Homeless Meters' now installed at 5 locations in town

Wednesday, July 18, 2018 0 Comments

'Feed the Homeless Meters' now installed at 5 locations in town

 

On June 21, five “Feed the Homeless Meters,” to benefit the homeless in Miami-Dade County, were unveiled throughout various locations in Miami Lakes – one on Main Street, and the others at the Town’s main public parks.

The installation of these meters are a result of work done by 7th grade students of the Civic Engagement Academy (CEA at Bob Graham Education Center.

During the past school year, these students researched issues impacting local, state and national communities. One of these areas is homelessness and affordable housing. In November, the students were hosted by Camillus House CEO Hilda Fernandez on a tour where they saw first-hand issues related to homelessness.

In January, the students spoke with Ron Book, chairman of the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust, who became a mentor to them. As a result, they lobbied state legislators on expanding affordable housing opportunities throughout Florida as well as proactively seeking ways to help the homeless in local communities.

The students became aware of Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust’s Feed the Homeless Meter program that had been in place for many years in various locations throughout the county, but not in Miami Lakes.

The program takes repurposed former parking meters that are wrapped in artistic designs by Romero Britto, and provides an opportunity for people to deposit loose change with every penny going directly to provide support for the homeless.

Subsequently, the students met with Mayor Manny Cid who placed an item on the February council meeting agenda for discussion on recommendations for meter placement in the Town. The item supporting placement of one meter in each of the four main Town parks passed unanimously.

Then, they met with Graham Companies officials, Andrea Rechichi and Anne Little, who were supportive of the project and agreed to a meter placement at the heavily trafficked area near the Main Street fountain.

All five meters are now in place and ready to accept donations and the students will continue to work with the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust on the maintenance of the meters and collection of the funds raised.

Community leaders and CEA students participated in the meter unveiling on June 21 including Cid, Vice Mayor Frank Mingo, Councilmembers Ceasar Mestre and Nelson Rodriguez, Ron Book, Hilda Fernandez, Andrea Rechichi, and Anne Little, as well as BGEC CEA teacher Jackie Hernandez and Bobcat Law Society president Ramiro Inguanzo.

The Feed the Homeless meters are located at the playground areas at Royal Oaks Park, Picnic Park West, Optimist Park, the Spot Youth Censer, and near the Main Street fountain.

 

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