Attorney General Pam Bondi's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit today secured a prison sentence for an Orlando woman who exploited homeless men and women to commit Medicaid fraud. Christina Benson, owner of Tranquility Health Care Solutions, bilked Medicaid out of more than $200,000 by billing Medicaid for services not provided and not warranted. Last year, Benson pleaded guilty to one count of Medicaid provider fraud, a first-degree felony.
Twenty-five years ago today Hurricane Andrew struck South Florida. The Category 5 storm caused more than $25 billion worth of property damage and caused 44 direct and indirect fatalities in Florida. In the aftermath of the storm, looting, repair scams and price gouging complaints were reported to law enforcement and the Florida Attorney General’s Office.
Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) today announced that Miami-Dade County would receive $4.092 million in Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Last year, Miami-Dade County lost over $5 million in funding for essential homeless programs in the county. HUD’s homeless assistance program has become increasingly competitive as HUD directs more funding to grantees that allocate resources to projects known to deliver better outcomes like permanent housing and rapid re-housing.
U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), the Ranking Democrat on the House Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies (MCVA) Appropriations Subcommittee, released the following statement after passage in the full Appropriations Committee of the subcommittee’s Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) appropriations bill:
More than 70 MIAMI Association of REALTORS® (MIAMI) members and peers will help feed dinner to 500 homeless residents on Tuesday, June 13 at the Chapman Partnership’s Downtown Miami Homeless Assistance Center
Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), Chairman of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, issued the following statement after the passage of H.R. 244, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017.
Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), Chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, was today recognized with the Change Maker Award by the Homeless Trust. Diaz-Balart, who has served in this role since 2014, has worked with his colleagues to provide additional opportunities for Broward, Collier, Hendry, and Miami-Dade Counties to compete for federal grants. Diaz-Balart has prioritized housing programs that serve the most vulnerable in our community, including homeless and voucher programs.
County Commissioners and the Broward Homeless Continuum of Care invite landlords to a free breakfast meeting, Wednesday, October 19th, from 8:30-11AM at the Fort Lauderdale Woman's Club, 20 S. Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, to learn about the County's plans to address homelessness and how landlords can play a strong role
Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida’s Hearts of Gold concert presented by Reed Nissan raised over $300,000, topping even last year’s record-breaking event. Hundreds of Central Florida’s elite business and philanthropic leaders gathered at Hard Rock Live to eat, drink, and celebrate the transformative power of music in support of the homeless men, women, and children in our community.
In support of goals and objectives in the County's "A Way Home" Plan to End Homelessness, the Broward County Homeless Initiative Partnership has been awarded grants of more than $8 million by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through the 2015 HUD Homeless Continuum of Care (CoC) Program Competition
Diaz-Balart Introduces FY17 THUD Appropriations Bill, Includes Relief for Miami-Dade Homeless Programs
Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), Chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee of the House Committee on Appropriations, released the following statement after introducing the draft fiscal year 2017 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill. The legislation will be considered in subcommittee tomorrow
On Thursday, April 28th, the Congressional Homelessness Caucus, Co-Chaired by Representatives Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), hosted a briefing on the state of homelessness in the America. The Caucus was joined by representatives of the National Alliance to End Homelessness, which earlier this month released its annual report, the State of Homelessness in America
In support of goals and objectives in the County's "A Way Home" Plan to End Homelessness, the Broward County Homeless Initiative Partnership (HIP) has been awarded a grant of more than $6.8 million by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through the 2015 HUD Homeless Continuum of Care (CoC) Program Competition. The award funds 17 renewal projects and a new Continuum of Care (CoC) planning grant. This brings the County's 2015 HUD CoC grant awards total to $8.5 million which is distributed through the CoC and directly managed by the County and community providers
Attorney General Pam Bondi's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit today announced more than $170,000 in fraudulent taxpayer dollars reclaimed from multiple bank accounts owned by Christina Benson, owner of Tranquility Health Care Solutions in Orlando. Benson used Tranquility to recruit homeless men and women to pose as patients and billed Medicaid for services not provided and not warranted. Additionally, Benson allegedly used untrained personnel, some with criminal arrest records, in her scheme.
Reps. Hastings and Johnson Lead Effort to Prioritize Family Homelessness Response and Expand Services
Representatives Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) called on congressional appropriators to prioritize family homelessness and services for homeless individuals in Fiscal Year 2017. In submitting a formal letter to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies, Hastings and Johnson urged the committee to make it easier for local communities to prioritize their own needs in responding to homeless populations, and expand access to effective services for homeless individuals (Please find attached a copy of the letter.)
Turning to the veterans in attendance, he then said, “We appreciate, most importantly, the veterans and their service to our country. There is no greater tragedy than to have one serve their country and then come back to the country they protected only to find that they don’t have a home and they’ve fallen on hard times. The Coalition does great work here in the community to rehabilitate veterans and to acclimate them back into the community.”
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of the Congressional Homelessness Caucus, hosted a briefing with Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), and the National Coalition of the Homeless. The briefing addressed the importance of providing unhoused families with support to address trauma and how trauma-informed care can be an effective model in helping families heal, while combating homelessness. Hastings made the following statement at the briefing
This year's Broward County Point-in-Time (PIT) Count, conducted over a three-day period on January 26-28, 2015 shows that the total number of sheltered and unsheltered persons experiencing homelessness in Broward County has decreased by 5.1%, from 2,766 to 2,624. The number of unsheltered persons also decreased by 5.7% from 879 to 829. Both figures are comparisons to the same count done in January 2014
Today, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson and Congressman Alcee Hastings (D-FL), founding co-chairs of the Congressional Homelessness Caucus hosted a briefing titled “Successful Community Models in Housing and Homeless Shelters.”
Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida’s Hearts of Gold concert presented by Reed Nissan raised over $275,000 on Saturday, May 2, shattering all fundraising records in the event’s 22-year history. More than 650 of Central Florida’s top business and philanthropic leaders gathered at Hard Rock Live to eat, drink, and celebrate the healing power of music in support of the homeless men, women, and children in our community