Udonis Haslem Foundation logo with tagline: Hope, Access, Opportunity. Udonis Haslem Foundation logo with tagline: Hope, Access, Opportunity.

Why We Care

Why do we care?

Because too many children and families are still barely getting by…

According to the 2022 demographics shared by miamidadematters.org: 85,417 families in Miami-Dade County are currently living below poverty. 52,632 of those families are households with children.

Because poor children of color are caught up in a vicious cycle of disproportionate contact with the juvenile justice system…

Iamforkids.org: “Policies in Florida’s juvenile justice system keep children and families from breaking the cycle [of poverty]. This is especially true for Florida’s children of color due to disproportionate contact with the juvenile justice system and receiving harsher sentences. Despite making up the smallest racial group of juveniles in Florida at 20%, Black juveniles made up the largest portion of arrests in 2018 at a staggering 50.9%.

Because people in need of mental health treatment are more likely to be arrested than given the appropriate care that they deserve...

“According to Judge Leifman of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit, there are 10 times as many people with serious mental illnesses in the Miami-Dade County jail than in any state hospital in Florida and it is home to the largest percentage of people with serious mental illnesses of any urban area in the United States. He estimates that 20,000 people in need of mental health treatment are arrested each year in Miami-Dade County, primarily for misdemeanors and low-level felonies.” – (stepuptogether.org/people/steve-leifman)

Because small businesses owned by people of color have experienced excessive hardships especially since the pandemic…

“The Small Business Credit Survey (SBCS), reveals that the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the challenges that small businesses owned by people of color faced prior to the pandemic…..Most small business owners reported experiencing financial hardship during the pandemic, but the highest rate was reported by Black business owners: 92%, followed by 89% of Asian American-owned firms, 85% Latino -or Hispanic-owned firms, and 79% white -owned firms….Nearly 75% of Black and Asian-American-owned firms reported difficulties paying their operating expenses, compared to 63% of white-owned firms. Black small-business owners were also most likely to experience difficulty accessing credit (53%).” – Brookings.edu. Report: Black-Owned businesses in U.S. Cities: The challenges, solutions, and opportunities for prosperity. Andre M. Perry et. Al.