BE THE LIGHT Clubs around Miami-Dade County will be collecting non-perishable food through December 15, 2019

How you can help:

  • Ask your family and friends to get involved in the food drive collection by setting up a collection box at their schools/workplace. We are a community and would appreciate their involvement.
  • Download a checklist of nonperishable food items needed here. 


To provide for 9,000+ homeless kids/youth in our Miami-Dade County community. Many of these kids get their breakfast and lunch meals at the school and for many, it may be their only 2 meals of the day.

  • We will sort out the collection and stock up the schools’ pantries.
  • Pantries have been created to service Project UP-START students.
  • Foods collected will be distributed at the following schools:
    Ferguson Senior High School
    Miami Southridge Senior High School
    Robert Morgan Senior High School
    International Learning Center

Project UP-START Homeless Education Program

Project UP- START’s mission seeks to ensure a successful educational experience for children and youth living with unstable housing in Miami-DADE County by collaborating with parents, families, schools, and community through opening the doors to academic opportunities, removing barriers, and promoting a healthy sense of self with hope for a bright tomorrow. Project UP_START services are available to students enrolled in Miami-Dade County Public School from Pre-K through 12th grade who are experiencing unstable housing. Any student who lacks fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, as defined by the Stewart B. McKinney-Bruce Vento Homeless Assistance Act, qualifies for Project UP-Start

A student who is residing in the following circumstances is qualified for Project UP-START:

  • Sharing the house of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason, also known as “doubled-up;”
  • Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations;
  • Living in emergency or transitional shelters; or
  • Living in a car, park, public space, abandoned building, substandard housing, train station, or other public or private place that is not designed for or ordinarily used as regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.

There are currently 9,000 identified Project UP-START children and youth in Miami-Dade County with the largest concentration in South Dade. They project the number to grow to 10,000 children and youth by the end of the year in part due to unaffordable housing and increasing rental rates.