Homeless shelter in Overtown opens new facility

caines | 4/18/2013, 5:30 a.m.

Opportunity is given to those without homes When will Camillus Houses emergency shelter on the Norwegian Cruise Line Campus in Overtown be open? With Miamis high homeless population, this was a question that some may have had for about a year, since the older building that was located in the downtown Miami area was demolished. Different facilities on the new campus were open about a year or two ago, but the emergency shelter, just opened last Thursday. On April 11, the FPL Power to Care Facility opened and will now be able to meet the needs of Miamis chronically homeless. The new facility has 48 emergency housing beds, a full service ambulatory medical clinic, an energy-efficient rooftop garden, female-only outdoor meditation garden and direct care services. Now that its open I think a lot of people will be very pleased, Maria Peralta, the community relations manager, said. Also, it will allow people who are on the streets to have a taste of what its like to be in a structured area versus on the streets, and then if theyre interested in treatment. Then they can seek it out. According to Peralta, some people were housed in temporary spaces, while the shelter was being built, others were turned away, but now Camillus House can accommodate them. George McCandies, a Camillus House client, who has been apart of one of their programs for about eight months said he is excited about the opening of the facility. Its gonna be a lot of people given the opportunity to come and get their lives together. . . if thats what they want to do, he said. Its another way for people to get off the streets and come to get some help. McCandies said he is grateful that he was granted the opportunity to live at Camillus House. He said he was welcomed with open arms. I lost a lot, but I made a decision that I didnt want to do it anymore, and I wanted to get my life together, he said. I was blessed with the opportunity to come here. By Malika A. Wrightmwright@miamitimesonline.com