Today is World Homeless Day, and in order to shed some light on homelessness, several local bloggers were invited to the Chapman Partnership. Eddie and I decided that this would be a really great opportunity to serve outside of our church and school community, and set a good example for our kids. I also truly believe that with this platform that I have built, I have the obligation to share with my followers things that are a need in our communities. We were given a tour of the facility and then we had the opportunity to serve lunch to the residents.
The Chapman Partnership is an incredible organization that has truly been designed with its residents and their dignity in mind. One of the things that our Volunteer Specialist Jessie told us is that many people are just one paycheck away from homelessness. A lot of the thoughts that people have about homelessness are misconceptions. Not every person who is homeless is in their situation because of drug or alcohol abuse. Some are, but there are so many other reasons why people fall on hard times, and everyone is entitled to try and pave their way to a better life with dignity. This is something that the Chapman Partnership really embodies.
Chapman Partnership is the private sector partner of the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust, and they operate two Homeless Assistance Centers located in downtown Miami and Homestead. The Chapman Partnership empowers homeless men, women and children to build a positive future by providing the resources and assistance critical to growth, stability, and independence.
They provide a wide array of support services that go far beyond just emergency shelter to include comprehensive case management, health, mental and dental care, day care, job development and training, job placement, permanent housing assistance and other support from a variety of social service agencies all under one roof to 800 men, women and children daily. Unlike many other shelters, the Chapman Partnership does not have a limit to how long someone can be in residence.
During our tour we learned just how much The Chapman Partnership does for those experiencing homelessness. From intake to outplace, they truly give those in their centers all the tools they need to become independent. They have a medical clinic manned by nurse practitioners from Jackson, mental health services, and a mobile dental clinic (where they perform all dental procedures except for orthodontics). All of this is provided at no cost to the residents. If their needs cannot be met there, they are given a voucher to receive services at Jackson.
We were able to visit the dorms - they have three separate areas: one for families, one for single men, and one for single women. While their largest population is single males, a large percentage of the homeless population does include women and families. At the Chapman Partnership, 44 percent of residents are families with children, and they have taken that into account. Their family dorms are designed for families of four, but for those with larger families, adjoining rooms allow for families to stay together, as that is one of their primary goals when it comes to families.
They serve three hot meals per day, as well as bagged lunches for those who leave for work and school. They provide child care with an on-site day care through the Head Start program through MDCPS, and they have a Family Resource Center where children can go after school to work on homework and enrichment activities, and where children can spend free time reading books, doing arts & crafts, or playing video games. Other services include life skills training, legal services, social security services, vocational training, job placement, financial literacy, substance abuse counseling and housing placement.
Because of their commitment to providing comprehensive services to their residents, the Chapman Partnership has a 64% success rate in outplacing their residents into permanent or transitional housing.
Ways You Can Help
We learned about the 1% Food & Beverage Tax* today and I thought it was really interesting - I actually had no idea about it! The Chapman Partnership receives a little over 60% of their funding from The Homeless Trust. The rest is private beneficiaries and fundraising efforts. The Homeless Trust is funded by the 1% Food & Beverage Tax.
There was so much to take in while we were visiting Chapman, and I wish I could share all the information we learned and all the amazing things that they do there. But know that when you donate to the Chapman Partnership, it is truly all going back to the residents and their betterment.
For more information about the Chapman Partnership, how you can get involved, and their services, head over to https://chapmanpartnership.org.
And as always, let’s count our blessings.
*What is the 1% Food and Beverage Tax?
At the time of the Homeless Trust’s funding, it was clear that the private sector alone could not support the needs of the community. The Florida Legislature, supported by Governor Lawton Chiles and the Miami-Dade County Commission, made it possible for there to be a 1% sales tax on food and beverages sold in the larger restaurants in our community. Fifteen percent of the funds received would be allocated to the Domestic Violence Oversight Board.
Specifics on the Tax:
A one percent (1%) Homeless and Domestic Violence Tax is collected on all food and beverage sales by establishments that are licensed by the State of Florida to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises, except for hotels and motels. Only businesses that make over $400,000 in gross receipts annually are obligated to collect this tax.
The Homeless and Domestic Violence Tax is collected throughout Miami-Dade County with the exception of facilities in the cities of Miami Beach, Surfside and Bal Harbour. Eighty-five percent (85%) of the tax receipts goes to the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust, and fifteen percent (15%) goes to Miami-Dade County for domestic violence centers.
The Halloween decorations are up, pumpkin everything is in stores everywhere, and most of the country is feeling cooler temperatures. But here in Miami, while we might be feeling a slight change in the weather in the morning and afternoon, the truth is, it's still HOT.
So while I might be burning all the candles or diffusing all the oils to make my house feel like fall indoors, I definitely cannot rock traditional fall looks outdoors without passing out from a heatstroke. But since fall is my favorite season, here are some ways that I incorporate fall style and trends into my wardrobe, year after year.
Texture & Color
A really easy way to switch between seasons is by using rich textures. Suede, leather, and velvet all speak to the warm textures of fall. Incorporate them into shoes, handbags, and accessories to automatically update your look and bring it into the current season. These suede pointy-toed booties are a really great piece that you can wear with jeans, a dress or leggings and they just scream fall.
As far as color, I tend to lean more towards blacks, purples, and burgundy shades during the fall, but really anything that is deep and rich would help to update your look!
My nail color is usually the first thing to herald the changing of a season. The minute I can switch over to fall's deep, rich hues (and manage to squeeze in a manicure), I go for it. These are some of my go-to nail colors, year after year. And yes, I realize they are almost identical. I also love navy and dark gray colors.
Butter London Ruby Murray Nail Lacquer $15.00
Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour 18 Rouge Noir $28.00
Essie Gel Couture Model Clicks $7.89
Add in Animal Prints
Another easy way to make your wardrobe feel more fall-worthy is to add in animal prints. Leopard is my go-to. Throw on a pair of leopard shoes, a leopard belt, or a leopard headband. It won't overwhelm your look, won't make you sweat, and you'll automatically feel more in-season. I got this headband from Aria Rose Boutique. I don't think they have them in stock anymore, but I've linked a whole bunch of leopard print accessories below!
The last way I get my look updated for fall without melting is by changing up my makeup palette. I use deeper, darker lip colors, like this bold burgundy hue from Kat Von D, appropriately called Exorcism (and which Caleb said I looked scary wearing). For eyeshadow I like to switch it up to grey and deep purples, and I love using the Urban Decay Naked Ultimate Basics Palette.
Tell me below, what are some ways that you make your wardrobe "Miami Fall" friendly? I'd love to know!
Ever since I read Number the Stars by Lois Lowry in third or fourth grade, I have devoured books about the World War II era. I find something about the time period so hauntingly beautiful. While there were so many awful things happening throughout Eastern Europe during the war, there was also so much humanity, resilience, and strength of human spirit. That's probably why I enjoyed The German Midwife so much.
The book takes place in Germany in 1944. Anke, a prisoner in the camps, does what she can to keep her pregnant campmates and their newborns alive.
But when the Reich notices Anke's work, she is silently whisked away from camp and given a task more dangerous than being in a camp. Anke is assigned to be the midwife of Eva, a woman who is pregnant with the Führer’s child. Her family is threatened if she doesn't complete this task, so what is there to do?
The book weaves through Anke's story, bringing in a few kind characters to help Anke along this impossible journey, and reminding us that good and evil are not always black and white, and that gray areas do exist. Will Anke deliver this baby and keep it safe, furthering the cause of the Reich she so detests? Or will she sacrifice this child to help fix a broken world?
The German Midwife is a solidly told, well-written read. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and if World War II novels are something you enjoy, then I think this is something you will enjoy as well. I honestly couldn't put the book down and even sacrificed a good night's rest to read a couple more chapters (a decision I really regretted when the kids woke up at 5:45 am).
We all know that as moms, we juggle a lot. Especially when our kids are young - we have to make decisions for them and remember ALL THE THINGS for them. Our brains are occupied a lot of the time by tasks, which although menial, take up so much of our brain power. For a lot of us, this means that other things fall to the wayside - things that we feel like we can address later, or that don't need our immediate attention. Finances is one of those things.
Parenting often results in women being time-poor, acutely so when their children are young or when they’re single mothers. As recently as 2016, mothers of children under six reported dedicating nearly twice the amount of time per day as fathers spent dedicated to childcare, including when both parents work. In more than half (54%) of homes where both parents work full time, the mother does more to manage children’s schedules and activities. That leaves less time for financial management, planning, saving and investing during critical years that can help build a nest egg."
But the truth is, it's so important for us as women to understand our finances, and to plan for our futures. I sat down with Financial Advisor Alicia Figueroa to chat about what financial planning means and how we as women and mothers can actively participate in planning the financial needs of our families.
When you say “Financial Planning” what do you really mean by that?
Financial Planning is a holistic way to approach someone’s personal finances. When people think of a Financial Advisor they may only think about investments and the stock market. Financial Planning is about working with everyday people to make sure that they are creating the right infrastructure to help build good savings habits and protect their family, with the goal of achieving financial freedom. For example, taking advantage of retirement accounts at work, properly funding an Emergency Savings account and Budgeting to understand long term financial needs are all topics I address with clients.
Why do you think it is important for moms to understand Financial Planning?
I think it is important for several reasons. One, women tend to be responsible for the majority of household decisions but are often not informed on the finances of the home. Two, on average women live longer than men. What this means is that women will need more money over the long run, which needs to be planned for.
Most people think they can’t afford a Financial Advisor. What do you usually say to that?
Unfortunately, the word Financial Advisor usually carries a negative stigma because people think that you need a lot of money to even merit seeing one or people are embarrassed about their current financial situation. The reality is Financial Advisors work with people from all different financial backgrounds with the same goal of achieving financial freedom. Often Financial Advisors do not charge a fee for meeting with them. More importantly every meeting is an opportunity to teach our clients the Personal Finance skills that are not taught in school. My goal is for every client to leave a meeting better prepared to make decisions in their everyday life.
What are some of the topics we are going to cover over our next sessions?
I would like to cover some of the topics that I know every parent thinks about like College funding strategies, Budgeting and Retirement. Then I want to go over the ones that some people don’t really have on their radar but that I would argue are even more important than the earlier topics and that is protecting your family from the risk of an unexpected death, sickness or injury.
Alicia is a Financial Planner dedicated to helping individuals become financially independent by creating good savings habits, protecting their assets, and achieving their goals of growing and transferring their wealth. Her goal is to make financial independence a reality for Americans.
Alicia has been in the financial services industry for over 10 years; having worked at Morgan Stanley and Citi prior to joining MassMutual South Florida.
She has an MBA from Wharton and a Masters in International Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. She completed her Bachelors in Business Administration from Loyola University New Orleans where she majored in Finance and Marketing. Alicia currently lives in Miami. Prior to that she spent time living in New York, Philadelphia, New Orleans and Sao Paulo. She is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese.
If you would like to schedule an appointment with Alicia, you can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her directly at (305) 776-1032.
Alicia Figueroa is a registered representative of and offers securities and investment advisory services through MML Investors Services, LLC. Member SIPC. 1000 Corporate Drive, Suite 700, Ft. Lauderdale, FL. (954) 938-8800.
The views and opinions expressed are those of Alicia Figueroa. Alicia Figueroa’s views are not necessarily those of MML Investors Services, LLC or its subsidiaries.
Have questions you'd like for us to answer in this series? Shoot me an e-mail or comment below!
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you will know that Florida is once again facing the threat of a hurricane. I’ve been meaning to get this post out for a little bit and I kept putting it off. But I guess there’s no time like the present!
As soon as I hear that there is the threat of a storm, we buy water. Worst case scenario, we bought it for nothing and we’ll use it later. The other thing I do is fill up my gas tank. That way once the lines get really bad I don’t have to go. Here’s a list of the things we do, starting with when we first find out there’s the possibility of a storm, leading to right up until the storm begins.
Before the Storm
During the Storm
After the Storm
Stay safe, friends!