Housing Matters

Stephanie Berman Eisenberg, President & CEO of Carrfour Supportive Housing, helps our community’s most vulnerable individuals attain stable, long-term housing.
Text by Estrellita S. Sibila Photo provided by Carrfour Supportive Housing | May 15, 2018 | People

Have you ever wondered about housing our homeless? As the President & CEO of Carrfour Supportive Housing, Stephanie Berman Eisenberg says her organization has been addressing and improving housing opportunities for the homeless throughout the city since 1993. In fact, over the past 20 years, Carrfour has assembled hundreds of millions of dollars to develop and operate thousands of homes that have served more than 10,000 men, women and children.
Today, Carrfour, whose name means “Crossroads” in French, is Florida’s largest nonprofit developer of affordable and supportive housing for the formerly homeless. “There really isn’t a typical demographic of a Carrfour resident,” shares Berman Eisenberg, who has led the organization for the last decade. “Homelessness and residential instability can happen to anyone, especially to men and women who don’t have the social network to lift themselves out of a crisis.”
Most of the formerly homeless residents are referred to Carrfour through Miami-Dade County’s Homeless Trust’s coordinated assessment and intake process. In addition to income eligibility, applicants for supportive housing units must demonstrate that they are living on the streets or in a shelter. “We serve the chronically homeless man on the street who most people visualize when they think of homelessness, but we also serve working families that fall into homelessness because of a crisis such as the loss of a job or a family illness,” says Berman Eisenberg. Their residents also include many veterans as well as the elderly and youth who have aged out of foster care.
Currently, Carrfour has 5 housing developments in the works which will deliver a total of 266 new affordable housing units over the next couple of years. “We are very excited about Coalition Lift which is a 34-unit supportive housing demonstration project in Liberty City funded by the Florida Housing Finance Corporation and Miami-Dade County,” shares Berman Eisenberg of the development that will house chronically homeless high-utilizers of our community’s most expensive systems of care, such as jails, emergency rooms, hospitals and shelters. “Coalition Lift will also have a research component conducted by the University of South Florida that we believe will show that it is much less expensive to house these chronically homeless individuals in supportive housing rather than leaving them on the streets cycling through these expensive systems of care.”
Also on the new project horizon is Liberty Village in Liberty City, which will be a supportive housing community for veterans. “Giving someone a safe place to sleep, that they can call their own, gives them the peace-of-mind to begin rebuilding their lives;”