For weeks, homeless advocates have debated the impact of the deadly coronavirus on our most vulnerable populations like the homeless, elderly and those with underlying medical conditions.

Just yesterday Palm Beach County commissioners approved a $2.5 million contract with Gulfstream Goodwill Industries to provide an emergency shelter for homeless people. The temporary living facility is needed for the approximately 1,400 homeless people and families in Palm Beach County.

“Ever since this pandemic happened, a lot of people lost their jobs,” says Francky Pierre Paul, founder of Different Shade of Love, a local non-profit organization that helps the homeless. “A lot of people here used to make $300 a week. Of course, in Palm Beach County, you can’t get a one-bedroom apartment with that.”

“Our goal is to get people in (to the new facility), assess them, wrap appropriate social services around them and move them into permanent housing so that others can continue to flow through,” said Palm Beach County Administrator Verdenia Baker.

She also asked the public to assist with the continued housing demands facing the homeless through the County’s S.M.A.R.T. Landlords Campaign. With the Campaign, if you’re a landlord and willing to rent to the County’s homeless population, you can be guaranteed up to 24 months of rent.

What is a SMART Landlord?

Support – Landlords support the community by offering housing to residents who are facing a housing crisis and have nowhere to live.

Marketing – Landlords can save on marketing costs. We have a waiting list of people who need housing immediately.

Assistance – Every tenant has a case manager who provides assistance to the client and serves as the landlord’s immediate point of contact.

Rent – Landlords receive timely rent payments with help from the organization placing the tenant.

Tenant– Reduce vacancies by always having a tenant.

For more information about the S.M.A.R.T Landlords Campaign, click here