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Ron Book

Chairman, Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust

About Ron Book

About the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust

In the early 1990s, more than 8,000 people were camping on the streets and sidewalks of Miami-Dade County. Health standards were compromised; street safety dubious. Independent non-profits overwhelmed. Something had to be done to ensure the health and welfare of homeless individuals in an organized, efficient manner.

In 1992, Governor Lawton Chiles appointed leaders to a Governor’s Commission on Homelessness, chaired by Alvah Chapman and led by many other influential thought-leaders, businessmen, and elected officials. Together, they created a plan to tackle the problem which led to the creation of the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust. In 1993, the Board of County Commissioners approved a Plan to End Homelessness and outlined the functions of the Trust.

The Trust is not a direct service provider. Rather, it is responsible for the implementation of policy initiatives developed by a 27-member Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust Board, and the monitoring of contract compliance by agencies contracted with the County, through the Trust, for the provision of housing and services for homeless persons.

Through its policies and procedures, the Trust also oversees the utilization of the food and beverage tax proceeds dedicated for homeless purposes, as well as other funding sources, to ensure the implementation of the goals. Additionally, the Trust serves as the lead applicant on behalf of the County for federal and state funding opportunities, tracks homelessness data and develops and implements the annual process to identify gaps and needs of the homeless continuum.

Recognized as a national model by U.S. HUD, and host to countless visitors hoping to replicate our model across the country, the Trust provides funding for more than 8,000 beds that serve hundreds of individuals and families annually.

Most recently, the Homeless Trust has been selected to participate in Zero: 2016, a national effort to end chronic and veteran homelessness. Involvement in this effort follows the Trust’s successful participation in the 100,000 Homes Campaign and 25 Cities Initiative.  Together, these initiatives bring our teams to the table with the best thought-leaders on homelessness. Through a shared learning environment with continually evolving performance management strategies, we ensure we move our mission forward to end homelessness, utilizing the best possible proven programs and services.