Friday, September 8, 2017

The Book Crime Family threatens the homeless with involuntary "civil commitment" for not trusting the city to provide adequate shelter

The homeless of Miami can't trust the Homeless Trust because of Ron Book. Ron Book is directly responsible for forcing hundreds of people into homeless. This act is a straight up case of CYA. Ronnie doesn't want the scrutiny of the media if he left those he made homeless to die. But after he has screwed the homeless for as long as he has, it is no wonder many are refusing his "aid."

Of course, the report made no mention of the homeless registrants.

Ron Book is mentally unstable and he should be held under the Baker Act for more than 72 hours. I can prove he is worthy of civil commitment.

Miami's homeless held against their will ahead of Hurricane Irma
September 8, 2017, 5:35 PM

Last Updated Sep 8, 2017 5:16 PM EDT

MIAMI -- On what is likely the last clear day in Florida before Hurricane Irma's monster wind and rain, social workers and police officers are giving Miami's estimated 1,100 homeless people a stark choice: Come willingly to a storm shelter, or be held against their will for a mental health evaluation.

With the outer edge of the storm approaching Friday, these officials -- backed by a psychiatrist and observed by an Associated Press team -- rolled through chillingly empty downtown streets as dawn broke over Biscayne Bay, searching for reluctant stragglers sleeping in waterfront parks.

"We're going out and every single homeless person who is unwilling to come off the street, we are likely going to involuntarily Baker Act them," said Ron Book, chairman of the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust.

Invoking the "Baker Act" -- a law that enables authorities to institutionalize patients who present a danger to themselves or others - is not something law enforcement does lightly, but officers detained at least six people by Friday afternoon. Under the law, they can be held up to 72 hours before the state would have to go to court to prolong their detention.

By then, Irma's howling winds and terrifying storm surge should be somewhere north of the city.

The Miami Herald reported Thursday that officials planned to use the Baker Act.

"No one's ever tried this before," Book told the newspaper. "But I'm not going to be the mayor of Houston. I'm not going to tell people to take a Sharpie and write their names on their arm."

"I am not going to sign suicide notes for people who are homeless in my community. I am just not going to do it," Book told the AP. "That's why you have a Baker Act. It's there to protect those who can't otherwise protect themselves."

Book's group was working closely with police, who acknowledged that the effort is unusual: Officials said it is the first time Miami has invoked the law for hurricane preparedness.

About 70 people willingly climbed into white vans and police squad cars Friday, joining others who already arrived at shelters. About 600 others were thought to remain outside somewhere, exposed to the storm, despite mandatory evacuation orders for more than 660,000 people in areas that include downtown Miami and coastal areas throughout the county.

One older man pushing his belongings in an empty wheelchair in Bayfront Park tried to wave them off.

"I don't want nothing," he said, insulting a social worker.

"So you are cool with dying in the streets?" he asked.

"Get out of my goddamn face," he responded.

"What's your name?" asked Dr. Mohammad Nisar, a psychiatrist who was looking for evidence of mental illness, a necessary factor for a Baker Act detention.

"None of your damn business!"

Police officer James Bernat intervened.

"We are here to help you. Listen to me. You are being very aggressive. We are trying to help you," Bernat said. "It's very dangerous out here."

"You are trying to make me go somewhere I don't want to go," he insisted.

Finally, the man was handcuffed without a struggle and taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital for a 72-hour psychiatric evaluation.

"A person who has a history of mental illness and who is staying in harm's way, and doesn't have a logical cohesion of what is right or what is wrong at that point, is a harm to himself, and at that point we can Baker Act them for his own protection," Nisar explained later.

Friday's encounters alone weren't enough to justify their involuntary detention. Nisar said social workers and officers on the team already know these men and can testify to prior signs of mental illness to support each case.

Also, the law requires a court order to keep them detained against their will after 72 hours, and public defenders have pushed back against such requests, citing court rulings that the Baker Act can lead to unconstitutional curtailments of individual liberty.

But those hearings won't happen until Monday at least -- and by then, Irma's wrath will have moved on from Miami.

After driving more than 400 people to shelters, the Homeless Trust said it would continue searching for stragglers until winds reach 45 mph, sometime Saturday afternoon.

"I am not happy to have to do it," said Steven Nolan, whose face has weathered many days of Florida sunshine. "But I'd rather be in there than out here when the storm hits."

Miami’s homeless to be committed if they won’t seek shelter from Irma
SEPTEMBER 07, 2017 3:49 PM

Miami’s homeless men and women who won’t seek shelter from Hurricane Irma will be involuntarily committed to a psychiatric ward ahead of the storm, the head of Miami-Dade’s public agency in charge of homeless services said Thursday.

Ron Book, a prominent lobbyist and chairman of the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust, said that starting Friday, outreach teams will begin working with police to Baker Act anyone who refuses to get off the streets.

“It’s my experience that those individuals who have been unwilling to come off the streets, they all have mental health issues,” Book told the Miami Herald. “They are a danger to themselves … we will go in and have all of them Baker Acted.”

The Homeless Trust believes there are about 1,130 people who are homeless and living outside of shelters and housing units throughout the county. They’ve been working since Tuesday to get as many people as they can into homeless shelters, and had placed about 240 into shelters as of Thursday morning.

Outreach teams are now directing people off the streets and into general population shelters, Book said.

But there is a small group of people — maybe 10 or 20, Book said — who are refusing to seek shelter from the Category 5 storm, which could hit Miami sometime Saturday. Book says that’s likely due to mental illness or drug addiction. And under Florida’s “Baker Act” law, anyone who may have a mental illness and poses a danger to themselves can be involuntarily committed by police for up to 72 hours.

“No one’s ever tried this before,” Book said. “But I’m not going to be the mayor of Houston. I’m not going to tell people to take a Sharpie and write their names on their arm.”

Book said that with the storm slowing down, involuntary committals would start Friday in order to ensure that anyone committed would be inside for the duration of the storm. Anyone Baker Acted Friday would be committed to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Crisis Stabilization Unit, a 20-bed facility located in the city’s health district.

In the meantime, the Homeless Trust is planning to evacuate the Chapman Partnership’s Homeless Assistance Center in Homestead and some of its housing units in South Dade, he said. Those evacuated people will likely end up in general population emergency shelters, Book said, along with homeless assistance workers.

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