David and Julio

He’s a full-time student at Miami-Dade College and works two part-time jobs, but you can often find Julio Anta in the dumpsters of supermarkets retrieving unexpired, packaged food and hanging out on the streets in Miami. It may be an unseemly location for a college student, but Julio and his friend, David Merida, have a passion for helping the homeless. They took that passion, and in November of 2009, they founded Humility Now. We caught up with Julio to tell us a little about the great things they’re doing in Miami and how we can all help.

Love In Stereo: How did Humility Now get started?

Julio Anta: For the past few years, we have worked with the homeless of downtown Miami in our own way. David had been donating time at our church’s homeless center and I would sporadically work there as well. I spent most of my time dumpster diving at supermarkets, taking unexpired packaged food they’d thrown away and take it downtown. After giving out all the food or clothes I’d collect for the night, I’d spent the rest of my time hanging out on the streets getting to know some of the homeless, building relationships.

We started Humility Now to make our work with the homeless official and more accessible to the public. It’s easier to organize events, volunteers and donations when you’re a nonprofit rather than two dudes in dumpsters!

Picture of Julio Anta speaking at an event.

LIS: As with any nonprofit, there are struggles and challenges. What are some of the challenges you’ve faced with Humility Now?

JA: It’s always an uphill battle, but when hasn’t justice been that way? Our homeless friends get a bad rap. They smell, loiter and beg, but what more can you expect of someone who’s forced to live on the streets? They’re seen as sub-human, and it’s our job to help them shift the public’s opinion to one that’s favorable, and, more importantly, to get them off the street. We have to change the way we look at poverty. These people are not “bums.” They’re human beings like you and me, and they deserve the same amount of dignity and respect.

LIS: What is Humility Now doing for the homeless?

JA: For every t-shirt that we sell at our store http://humilitynow.storenvy.com, we donate a shirt to the homeless here. We’re forming friendships, too. Other than that, a lot of our events involve food, and, more importantly, opportunities for community and conversation. Whether it’s dominoes tables or foosball, our main focus at events is putting people in a position where they can have honest conversation with our homeless brothers and sisters.

LIS: How can we help?

JA: People can help by telling all their friends about the work we’re doing or buy a shirt from our online store.

Organizations like Humility Now make it possible even for those of us on fixed incomes to help others. $15 gets a shirt for you and one of the 5,000 homeless in Miami. Earlier this month, Humility Now even began a movement to ban an anti-homeless ordinance in Miami, which was officially thrown away on April 5, proving they’re also an organization that understands, “Together, we’re louder.”


Humility Now Shirts

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