2012 Project of the Year: Miami Crime Mitigation Program
Winner: Greater Miami Service Corps
Traditionally, the boarding up of foreclosed and abandoned properties is completed by the banks or private companies. These entities charge exorbitant service fees which are sometimes transferred to the homeowner. To address this problem and to also mitigate crime associated with these kinds of properties (including theft and vandalism), the Greater Miami Service Corps initiated a new project to provide a cost effective, quality service that includes boarding up homes and cleaning the exterior of each property.
The program engages several partners, including the Miami-Dade Department of Permitting, Environment, and Regulatory Affairs and Miami-Dade Police Department. The program not only provides a revenue generating opportunity for the Corps, it also saves homeowners money. In addition, the work serves to provide a business training opportunity by teaching Corpsmembers how to determine required supplies needed to board up a building, its windows, doors, pools, and so forth. It also provides members with skills training in the construction industry and serves as a restorative justice project for Civic Justice Corps programs, thereby increasing positive behaviors. In addition to training, members are also working in cooperation with police to mitigate criminal activity within the Miami-Dade community.
The impact on Corpsmembers participating in this program is significant. 14 of the 17 Corpsmembers (82%) received national industry certifications including green credentials from the National Center for Construction Education Research (NCCER). Members also earned post-secondary elective credits with the University of Florida. Three members earned their High School Diploma and another three members were scheduled to earn their diploma by January 2012. It is also important to note that 29% of the 17 participants are former offenders. This project served as a restorative justice project for these members to give back to the communities they may have harmed.
Corpsmembers have impacted the community by mitigating crime on over 220 abandoned or foreclosed properties. The value of the support to the Miami-Dade Department of Permitting, Environment and Regulatory Affairs through Code Enforcement and the Miami-Dade Police Department is approximated at over $500,000 dollars.