BEYOND SIMPLE FOOD AND SHELTER
“In 1991, when I left my Knight-Ridder office and drove south, I was appalled by the sea of humanity that was living under the expressways in conditions that would have been a disgrace to a third world nation,” Alvah H. Chapman, Jr. former CEO of Knight-Ridder.
Mr. Chapman was a man of great compassion who valued the importance of a public-private partnership. He was asked by the late Governor Lawton Chiles to chair the Governor’s Commission on Homeless. The Commission was charged with developing and beginning implementation of the strategic plan to serve the homeless in Miami-Dade County, which became the Miami-Dade County Community Homeless Plan. The Governor’s Commission on Homeless worked cooperatively with the Miami-Dade Legislative Delegation and the Metro County Commission to ensure the passage and implementation of a one percent food and beverage tax in larger restaurants to fund homeless programs. The Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust collects and distributes the tax dollars and oversees the implementation of the Plan.
Chapman Partnership was incorporated in 1993 as Community Partnership for Homeless and grew out of years of planning, task forces, fundraising, public hearings and tireless work from many. The concept of the Homeless Assistance Center goes far beyond the soup-kitchen emergency shelter model to provide a comprehensive suite of services for empowerment.