Hermanos De La Calle: Standing up for the dignity of all people
Explore how financial advisor Narciso Muñoz is changing lives and creating community in Miami, Florida.
Narciso Muñoz, managing director at Alex. Brown, a division of Raymond James and president and founder of Hermanos De La Calle, began working with the homeless community in South Florida out of a desire to teach his two sons about giving back.
“I wanted to teach them that people living in poverty aren’t bad people, but just haven’t lucked out so far in the lottery of life” Muñoz says. “I believe that if you are blessed, you should give back.”
He started by bringing his kids to volunteer at a local soup kitchen, and quickly realized he wanted to do more – he wanted to create lasting change. That’s how Hermanos De La Calle (“Brothers of the Street”) was born.
“I gathered some friends in December of 2015, and we started by delivering meals to our brothers on the streets of Miami,” Muñoz says. “As we began connecting with these people, we started to identify needs beyond food and nourishment – important needs like rehabilitation, housing and legal assistance. By 2017, Hermanos De La Calle was officially established.”
A nonprofit dedicated to uplifting, supporting and rehabilitating those experiencing homelessness in Miami-Dade County, Hermanos De La Calle provides safe housing, mental and emotional support, access to healthcare, legal services, employment opportunities and reconnection to family.
“Dignity. That’s what we fight for,” Muñoz says. “We don’t leave anyone behind.”
With 18 homes and several hotel rooms serving more than 140 residents at a time across the Miami area, Hermanos De La Calle is committed to helping its constituents become contributing and dignified members of society.
Reynaldo Figueredo, director at Alex. Brown, a division of Raymond James, joined Muñoz in his efforts to make a difference and now serves as vice president of Hermanos De La Calle.
“Homelessness can be a vicious cycle,” Figueredo says. “We try to erase the stigma and get people off the streets for good.”
The organization serves their constituents by finding them a safe place to live, providing access to dental, vision and other healthcare services, providing legal aid, introducing them to a community of peer advocates and case managers, and, most importantly, helping them to secure employment.
“Being able to go to work every day and become self-sufficient is so important for people who have lost their self-confidence,” Muñoz says. “Once people have the ability to purchase items on their own, they no longer want us to give them food and other resources. Being able to purchase their own food at a supermarket is a huge turning point.”
It’s also important to Muñoz to provide end-of-life care to sick and elderly individuals who need a dignified place to live out their final days.
“People deserve to be able to live and die with dignity,” Muñoz says.
Hermanos De La Calle recently began partnering with the City of Miami as an official service provider for homeless families and individuals. The organization is also often the first call for migrant families arriving to Miami. With increased funding and a growing population of dedicated volunteers, Muñoz hopes to grow the organization beyond the Miami city limits.
“I hope to open a place of refuge in every major city,” Muñoz says. “A 24/7 ‘house of peace’ for people experiencing drug addiction, domestic violence, human trafficking and other hardships.”
Over the last 12 months ending February 2023, Hermanos De La Calle helped 1,051 people – 287 of them children – find a place to call home.
“I believe that every soul counts,” Muñoz says. “And with a little bit of compassion and the proper tools, you can make a huge difference. Be the change you want to see in the world.”
Learn more about Hermanos De La Calle, including volunteer opportunities, at hermanosdelacalle.org.
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