Carrfour Supportive Housing

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Carrfour Supportive Housing (Carrfour)
Founded 1993
Type Supportive Housing Organization
  • Miami, Florida
    United States
Area served
Miami-Dade County, Florida
Mission "Carrfour’s mission is to confront homelessness by developing affordable housing and providing supportive services as a pathway to self-sufficiency. We are guided by a vision where everyone has safe and decent housing and is self-reliant."

Carrfour Supportive Housing is a nonprofit organization established in 1993 by the Homeless Committee of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. It develops, operates and manages affordable and supportive housing communities for low-income individuals and families in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Carrfour communities combine affordable housing with comprehensive, on-site supportive services. By 2012, the company had become Florida's largest not-for-profit supportive housing provider, housing more than 10,000 formerly homeless men, women and children, assembling over $200 million of financing, tax credits and subsidies, and developing more than 1,700 affordable housing units since its founding.[1]


In the early 1990s, as the homeless population of Miami-Dade county grew to more than 8,000 people,[2] the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce formed a Homeless Committee to find a permanent solution to homelessness. These efforts led the Chamber to establish Carrfour Supportive Housing as a nonprofit entity "whose mission was to provide both permanent housing and supportive services to help the formerly homeless successfully reintegrate into society by helping them achieve their full potential."[1]

National recognition[edit]

In February 2009, TIME Magazine featured Carrfour in a national science story:[3] The following year, in April 2010, former President Bill Clinton hosted a Clinton Global Initiative day of service at Verde Gardens, which includes a 22-acre organic farm. The community was built on the site of the former Homestead Airforce Base.[4]

A September 2012 national wire story featured the Carrfour community as a new model for tackling homelessness.[5]

Also in September 2012, The Huffington Post featured Verde Gardens in a story that highlighted Miami-Dade County's success reducing homelessness by well over 50%.[6]

In May 2013, Carrfour's Verde Gardens community won the National Development Council's 2013 Academy Award for Housing Development.[7]

Numerous other articles have highlighted Carrfour's impacted reducing homelessness.[8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32]

Subprime mortgage crisis[edit]

When the subprime mortgage crisis hit, Carrfour, like other developers dependent on tax credits to finance construction, faced some of the most difficult challenges in its history

"Doug Mayer, VP for housing development at the nonprofit Carrfour Supportive Housing, said its Dr. Barbara Carey-Shuler Manor rental project was delayed by a year because it could not secure the low income tax credits that it had qualified for. This form of financing comes from profitable companies – usually financial firms – that give cash to affordable housing projects in exchange for writing off taxes. The low-income tax credit market evaporated when the financial crisis hit last fall. 'Hundreds of projects across the country stalled because they couldn’t find a market for the tax credits,' Mayer said."[33]

Ribbon cutting for new Miami affordable housing community. Carrfour President/CEO Stephanie Berman-Eisenberg, second from right, with Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado, second from left, and Miami-Dade County County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson, center.

Funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 enabled Carrfour to successfully navigate the financial crisis and experience the most rapid growth in the organization's history.

"The city of Miami has partnered with local nonprofits to renovate 26, one-bedroom apartments in Overtown. The project will be funded with $2.5 million in federal neighborhood stabilization dollars ... The nonprofit consortium includes the Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida, Carrfour Supportive Housing, the Little Haiti Housing Association, Opa Locka Community Development Corp., and the Urban League of Greater Miami."[34]

John Laswick, NSP Team Leader for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, speaks at grand opening of Carrfour's Harvard House in North Miami Beach, Florida. The Harvard House community was redeveloped using NSP stimulus monies provided to a consortium of local nonprofit agencies.

"As demand for affordable housing and construction jobs rises, Carrfour Supportive Housing is putting federal stimulus dollars to work by purchasing a distressed apartment complex in North Miami Beach with plans to renovate and deliver 56 low-cost units in 2012 ... All told, Miami-based Carrfour was granted $17 million of the $89 million that has been directed to Miami-Dade County through the NSP2 program."[35]

"Southern Miami-Dade County will feature a new apartment complex by Carrfour Supportive Housing in December. The company will open a mid-rise, six-story, 80-apartment building at the corner of Southwest 260th St. and South Dixie Highway in Naranja. The apartment, called Casa Matias, will provide housing for homeless families and low-income families."[36]

"A distressed 1950s multifamily building is getting demolished so the site on which it sits can serve as an affordable housing complex. The $20 million development of Hampton Village Apartments will offer four-stories of multifamily housing units and services to help people better their lives. HUD’s NSP2 initiative, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, has granted nearly $2 billion to states, local governments, nonprofits and public and or private nonprofit entities on a competitive basis, with the purpose of rehabilitating distressed properties. Carrfour Supportive Housing was part of a consortium of Miami-Dade County development firms that were granted $89 million in funding through the program.[37]

Operation Sacred Trust[edit]

Formerly homeless Vietnam veteran with truck where he lived for 18 months.

In 2011, Carrfour launched Operation Sacred Trust to specifically help prevent and end homelessness for Veteran families in South Florida.[38]

"If Gwendolyn Cutler-Isom had to describe her one-bedroom apartment in one word it would be GREAT. 'I love everything about this place!' she said. Since April, the 54-year old Army veteran has been living in the recently-opened Barbara Carey-Shuler Manor in Liberty City."[39]

"Glenn Merryman, 58, had been homeless for nearly a year-and-a-half before moving into his apartment at the Manor in February. 'I felt like I was the lowest person in the world when I was homeless,' he recalled. 'But here they care about you and even check on you every few weeks just to make sure that you’re alright.'”[39]

"As part of an innovative effort to tackle Miami's problem with homelessness, Xavier Wright has traded the streets of downtown for a live-in community farm project in south Florida that grows produce for an upscale restaurant. Wright, 25, said it's his first steady job in two years ... Wright, who previously served in the U.S. Marine Corps in Iraq, had resided in a homeless shelter with his 6-year-old autistic son before moving to Verde Gardens."[5]

A November 11, 2012 Huffington Post article featured Operation Sacred Trust as a new model for ending homelessness for America's veterans.[40] The same day, Carrfour President/CEO Stephanie Berman-Eisenberg published an Op-Ed on the Miami Herald Editorial Page highlighting the program's impact on area veterans.[41]

Carrfour communities[edit]

  • Amistad
  • Bonita Cove
  • Casa Matias
  • Del Prado Gardens
  • Dr. Barbara Carey-Shuler Manor
  • Hampton Village
  • Harding Village
  • Harvard House
  • Little Haiti Gateway
  • Little River Bend
  • Parkview Gardens
  • Rivermont House
  • Tequesta Knoll
  • The Royalton
  • Verde Gardens
  • Villa Aurora

Communities in Progress[edit]

  • Liberty Village


  1. ^ a b [1] - Carrfour Official Website.
  2. ^ [2] - Miami-Dade County Homeless Census
  3. ^ Walsh, Bryan (17 February 2009). "Building Green Houses for the Poor". TIME Magazine. 
  4. ^ Abrir, Carson (19 April 2010). "Former President Clinton urges renewed efforts to erradicate [sic] homelessness". Fatherhood Channel. 
  5. ^ a b Fagenson, Zachary (10 September 2012). "Homeless in Miami find new outlet, feeding the well heeled". Reuters. 
  6. ^ Lilly, Christiana (5 September 2012). "Verde Gardens Farm Program Gives New Life, Work To Miami-Dade Homeless Families". The Huffington Post. 
  7. ^ "Carrfour Takes Top National Development Council Award for Housing". National Development Council. May 2013. 
  8. ^ Anderson, Bendix (February 2007). "Carrfour Beats Rising Costs, NIMBY". Affordable Housing Finance. Miami Beach. 
  9. ^ Henthorn, Robert (19 April 2010). "Former President Clinton Visits future Carrfour Site to Urge Renewed Efforts to End Homelessness". Fatherhood Channel. 
  10. ^ "Carrfour under way on Casa Matias". Florida Real Estate Journal. Miami. 18 January 2011. 
  11. ^ "Carrfour building affordable housing in Naranja". Miami Herald. Miami. 10 February 2011. 
  12. ^ Henthorn, Robert (20 February 2011). "New Approaches Help Veterans Maintain Housing". Fatherhood Channel. 
  13. ^ Galan, Victoria (18 March 2011). "Miami-Dade Partnerships Take Root". American Libraries. Miami. 
  14. ^ Henthorn, Robert (4 August 2011). "Initiative Aims to End Homelessness for Veteran Families". Fatherhood Channel. 
  15. ^ Britell, Alexander (1 September 2011). "Q & A with Miami Carrfour Supportive Housing’s Stephanie Berman". South Florida Real Estate News. 
  16. ^ "Verde Gardens Homeless Housing Community Opens In South Miami-Dade County". AmericanTowns. Miami. 2 September 2011. 
  17. ^ Karantsalis, Theo (14 July 2012). "A dignified dwelling". Miami Herald. 
  18. ^ University of Miami, School of Business Administration (4 October 2012). "Workforce Housing in the New Economy". University of Miami. 
  19. ^ Berman-Eisenberg, Stephanie (8 October 2012). "Needs and Solutions in South Florida Housing and Community Development". University of Miami School of Business. Miami. 
  20. ^ Karantsalis, Theo (26 October 2012). "New affordable housing planned for Brownsville". Miami Herald. 
  21. ^ Karantsalis, Theo (28 October 2012). "New Affordable Housing in the Works". Miami Herald. 
  22. ^ LeClaire, Jennifer (31 October 2012). "$12M Parkview Gardens Affordable Housing Project Opens in Liberty City". 
  23. ^ Murray, Barbra (1 November 2012). "Doors of 60-Unit Affordable Housing Complex Open in Miami". Commercial Property Executive. 
  24. ^ "Liberty City’s Parkview Gardens Offers Innovative Housing Model for Distressed Neighborhoods". Fatherhood Channel. 1 November 2012. 
  25. ^ Hudson, Charlie (9 March 2013). "Kaboom! - A new playground". South Dade News Leader. Miami. 
  26. ^ Halliday, Allison (22 March 2013). "$17 Million of Federal Funds Used for Affordable Housing in Miami". Realty Biz News. Miami. 
  27. ^ Bennett, Julia (25 April 2013). "New playground designed by kids and built by volunteers". Cutler Bay News. Miami. 
  28. ^ Jeannot, David (19 March 2013). "More Than 140 Low Income Houses Renovated in North Miami Beach". NBC Miami. 
  29. ^ LeClaire, Jennifer (21 March 2013). "Harvard House Morphs to Affordable Housing". 
  30. ^ Musibay, Oscar Pedro (21 March 2013). "Harvard House Morphs to Affordable Housing". South Florida Business Journal. 
  31. ^ Mihaila, Georgiana (May 2013). "Formerly distressed Harvard House re-opens after major renovation". Multi-Housing News. Miami. 
  32. ^ Gillen, Michele (14 October 2013). "Focus on South Florida: Community Development & the Arts". CBS Miami. Miami. 
  33. ^ Bandell, Brian (21 December 2009). "Miami-Dade housing projects hit". South Florida Business Journal. 
  34. ^ Pedro Musibay, Oscar (27 October 2010). "St. John Village to get $2.5M makeover". South Florida Business Journal. 
  35. ^ Pedro Musibay, Oscar (26 August 2011). "Carrfour Supportive Housing to renovate apartment complex". South Florida Business Journal. 
  36. ^ Pedro Musibay, Oscar (19 January 2011). "Apartment Complex to Come Up in Southern Miami-Dade County". 
  37. ^ LeClaire, Jennifer (21 October 2012). "$20M Affordable Housing Project Gets Underway in Miami". 
  38. ^ Henthorn, Robert (4 August 2011). "Initiative Aims to End Homelessness for Veterans". Fatherhood Channel. 
  39. ^ a b Heard, Kaila (18 June 2012). "New Apartments Help Vets Get Back on Their Feet". The Miami Times. 
  40. ^ Lilly, Christiana (11 November 2012). "Operation Sacred Trust Combats Veteran Homelessness In South Florida With $1 Million Grant". Huffington Post. 
  41. ^ Berman-Eisenberg, Stephanie (11 November 2012). "A step forward for homeless vets". Miami Herald. 

External links[edit]