Saturday, September 5, 2015

Florida Cities Attack Those That Help The Homeless

On Wednesday, a Tampa non-profit shelter service, "Homeless Helping Homeless Inc," was raided by Tampa police officers. The search warrant was ostensibly related to a tow company that police claim is run by the nonprofit's owner, but HHH's computers and documents were seized and by Thursday the building was effectively condemned, giving the residents just a few days to take their belongings and go.

"This investigation has nothing to do with the homeless shelter. It's irrelevant," said TPD spokeswoman Andrea Davis.

HHH grabbed a lot of attention for successfully suing the City of Tampa for a panhandling ban that threatened their newspaper operation, which is passingly similar to what The Homeless Voice used to do here. Their federal lawsuit against the City resulted in the law being partially repealed in July.

HHH's friends in the proactive homeless support community in Tampa have set up a crowd-funding page to try to collect enough money to repair the code violations before the building is taken away and demolished.

Stock in the unpopularity of allowing homeless people to actually live indoors in major cities across South Florida seems to be high. Not long after the prior news from Tampa emerged, the Sun Sentinel posted an incredibly bizarre story where-in Sean Cononie makes some vague statements about re-opening the Homeless Voice somewhere in Broward County.

The Homeless Voice has frequently been a negative attention magnet for various government bureaucrats. What's really remarkable here is the amount of locals and public officials lining up to declare just how unwelcome Broward County feels towards homeless people.

Dania Mayor Salvino
Most remarkable are the comments from Dania Beach City officials:

Dania Beach Mayor Marco Salvino seemed caught off-guard.
"I don't know anyone who would want him back here," Salvino said.
He plans to ask the city attorney to research whether Dania Beach can pass an outright ban on homeless shelters.
"I don't know that that's the image we're trying to project for our city," Dania Beach Commissioner Chickie Brandimarte said. 
 Broward homeless census-takers generally do not collect data specifically on the homeless population in Dania. Although the County Jail and other centralized resources in nearby downtown Fort Lauderdale continue to concentrate the homeless there, it can't be denied that Dania has its own homeless population. Downtown Dania itself continues to idle in decay while similar areas such as Sistrunk, downtown Pompano, downtown Hollywood, etc., have poured 10 of millions of dollars into redeveloping their urban areas.

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