On Friday, police officers and social workers poured through the nearly-deserted streets of Miami, searching out the city’s homeless as Hurricane Irma continued her devastating path through the Caribbean. According to estimates, there are roughly 1,100 homeless people living in Miami, and with the city in the crosshairs of potentially record-setting destruction, authorities are doing everything within their power to get them safely off the streets.
In order to accomplish this monumental task, Miami officers (accompanied by a psychiatrist and a news team) sought out those who still remain without shelter in the city. In order to be “rescued,” Miami’s homeless are being given a choice – come along willingly to a storm shelter or be involuntarily held for a mental health evaluation. According to Miami-Dade Homeless Trust chairman Ron Book, police have the authority to take this action under the “Baker Act.”