On a warm Friday morning in mid-December, the local Work and Gain Economic Self-Sufficiency (WAGES) coalition held its monthly meeting at Miami-Dade Community College's downtown Wolfson Campus. The troubled agency's mission is to ease program participants off welfare and into the work force, a transition that has been rocky at best. As board members filed into the James K. Batten Room, they were greeted by a black, disoriented homeless man with raw, bloodshot eyes. The man attempted to light a cigarette butt he had retrieved from the ground, then pulled out a small Styrofoam cup from the inside pocket of his brown blazer. He held it out, hoping someone would drop in some spare change. No one did. One middle-age man attending the meeting avoided making eye contact with the strung-out vagabond altogether; briefcase in hand, he quickened his pace and... More >>>