City of Miami Commissioners decided against standing up a homeless encampment on the City’s famed Virginia Key, on Rickenbacker Causeway, along with the several other locations that were being considered.
Elected officials asked city staff to explore more locations, as well as additional options to deal with the city’s homeless population.
Initially the city staff studied the area and called Virginia Key the most optimal spot for the camp, citing advantages like its secluded location, scarcity of nearby neighborhoods and that no development is planned for the area.
But building a homeless camp on Virginia Key struck a nerve with residents and environmentalists insisted a recreation area is not appropriate for a homeless encampment.
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While some city commissioners were on the fence about the new proposal, Commission Chairwoman Christine King of District 5, who says she represents an area with the majority of homeless people, was on board, but said that accommodating the homeless should be a citywide effort.
"All of the arguments that were made today in public comment could be made anywhere in the City of Miami," King said. "I feel like we all as a community have to share the responsibility for caring for our homeless people."
On the other side, Commissioner Ken Russell not approving e of the proposal and believed the answer to the problem is more affordable housing.
Other spots being considered were a lot in Allapattah on N.W. 7th Avenue and a piece of property near the homeless center Camillus house.