Center For Homeless Raises $14 Million

Miami Herald, The (FL)
Section: Local
Edition: State
Page: 3B

The Community Partnership for the Homeless reached a milestone on Thursday and promptly set their sights on another.

The nonprofit agency that operates the Homeless Assistance Center in Overtown announced $2 million in pledges from five major donors at its monthly board meeting. The new contributions pushed the partnership past its $13.6 million fundraising goal to $14 million. Partnership board chairman Alvah Chapman then raised the bar again, setting a new fundraising goal of $16.5 million. The proceeds will help pay for construction and operating costs at the partnership's second Homeless Assistance Center planned for Homestead.

``We are now one step closer to offering comprehensive services to meet the needs of South Dade's homeless,'' Chapman said.

Leading the list of donors with $1 million was The Andreas Foundation, the family foundation of Dwayne and Inez Andreas of Miami Beach. Dwayne Andreas is chairman of the food corporation Archer Daniels & Midland. Inez Andreas is chairwoman of the board of trustees at Barry University.

``We've lived in Miami for many years, and it seems to me that things are not getting much better for the homeless so we're trying to help Mr. Chapman as much as we can,'' Inez Andreas said.

Miamians Steven and Dorothea Green used their family foundation to donate $300,000. The Green Family Foundation supports a variety of community and national initiatives including AIDS assistance and scholarships for young dancers. Earlier this week, the foundation, in conjunction with the United Way, honored the volunteer work of 10 area civil servants with the ``American Values Award.''

Rounding out the $2 million in gifts was a donation of $400,000 from the Kresge Foundation of Troy, Mich. which assists causes dealing with higher education, health, human services, the arts, sciences and humanities.

The Carnival Foundation, on behalf of the Carnival Corp. and its chairman, Mickey Arison, donated $200,000 while BankAtlantic provided $100,000.

Steven Green, former chairman and CEO of the Samsonite Corporation, said he and his wife were amazed by the homeless center's work thus far.

``We were so impressed at their ability to help families that need help and their ability to offer them not only a degree of dignity, but to get them back in position to lead a normal life,'' Steven Green said.

Of the more than 3,700 people who have used the center, 2,027 have been successfully placed in jobs, homes or other treatment facilities to address their needs.

The Kresge donation comes in the form of a challenge grant, Chapman said. The partnership can only collect the money after reaching their $13.6 million goal and signing a construction contract for the South Dade assistance center. Chapman expects a signed contract in about five weeks.

The Partnership is awaiting building permits for the site after submitting drawings to county zoning officials. Building construction is expected to begin in June and be completed in April 1998.