Coconut Grove, Florida

Coconut Grove is a unique neighborhood in Miami, Florida. In the 1880's, Coconut Grove became home to the first Black Bahamian residents who began to create the neighborhood as a Bohemian area. The homes that they began to build resembled homes build in the Bahamas and West Africa. In 1925, the city of Miami annexed Coconut Grove. It was then that the area became marginalized and depleted of resources which led to the social injustices we see today.

 

Coconut Grove remains separated as East and West Coconut Grove; West Coconut Grove being that which is extremely marginalized. Coconut Grove is a neighborhood with rich culture that still stands today. On the East side of Coconut Grove, you will find expensive waterfront real estate, luxurious hotels and stores for the affluent but on the West side of Coconut Grove, you will find a community that is struggling with extreme poverty, high crime rates, and racial divisions. Coconut Grove is home to gentrification; Cecelia Holloman spoke at a meeting for West Grove homeowners stated, "Gentrification is a when a community that has been low income and relatively depressed for a number of years, what we call disinvested, where people have walked away and left the community in poverty and despair. So now what happens is people want to change the community. People want to come in and build up the community. Now, there's nothing wrong with that concept. What's wrong with the concept is if it displaced people who live here because they are low income, because they are seniors, or because of their race. That is when gentrification is not acceptable."

At Seeking Shelter, we work very closely with the children living in the West Coconut Grove. We encourage families to make healthy and good choices. We provide assistance to the children with academics, athletics, clothing and food. We help to ensure that these families never up end up living and experiencing homelessness.