Miami, FL – More than a dozen social justice organizations, along with unhoused persons, human rights advocates and concerned citizens, assembled at Miami Government Center, noon, April 24th to protest recent laws criminalizing homelessness.

The City of Miami Beach and the City of Miami are violating the human rights of people experiencing homelessness and compounding their suffering through arrests and destruction of their property. These laws disproportionately impact people of color but do nothing to end homelessness. Worse, they make it harder for the poor to escape the cycle of homelessness.

"The crisis facing our community demands immediate action," said David Peery, Executive Director of MCARE . "We refuse to tolerate the criminalization of poverty and the dehumanization of marginalized communities. It’s time for our local governments to prioritize housing justice and invest in solutions that uplift all residents."

Particularly troubling is the complicity of the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust in enabling the criminalization of homelessness. Tasked with protecting the homeless, the Homeless Trust instead is supporting recently enacted Florida law HB 1365, that makes homeless encampments unlawful in Florida but does not provide for housing or shelter for displaced individuals. Instead, the law authorizes counties to create sanctioned encampments —effectively tent city internment camps – further marginalizing and dehumanizing people who are condemned by poverty to sleep on our City’s streets.

"We demand that our local governments and institutions use their resources to create safe and affordable housing not tent city internment camps,” said David Peery.

The coalition specifically demands that the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust submit any proposed policy that affects the rights of the homeless to a committee of the homeless for their review and recommendations prior to the Trust adopting or supporting the policy. We further demand that the Homeless Trust rescind its support for HB 1365, as a law that enables the criminalization of homelessness.

The following organizations are sponsoring the April 24th Homes Not Harm Rally at Miami Government Center:


• Catalyst Miami

• Florida Justice Institute

• University of

Miami Law School Human Rights


• The National Coalition for the Homeless

• Community Justice Project

• Ya Ya Por Vida


• Women With Broken Heals

• Miami Climate Alliance

MCARE is a 501c3 nonprofit multiracial coalition of organizations seeking to advance social justice in Miami-Dade County.