Sunday, July 10, 2016

"The Stranahan Committee," Property Thefts, and More

As reported in New Times, more confiscations of homeless property took place last week. This time the police were not involved, underscoring the inconsistency with which these seizures have occurred since April. Since the items were hauled away in dumptrucks, recovery would seem to not be an option at this time. Fort Lauderdale Food Not Bombs is still collecting containers and luggage to try to keep up with the seizures.

If the reason was that the Women's Club wanted to clean things up for another weekend wedding, that must not have turned out as expected; aside from the usual Saturday afternoon piles of whiteboxes and water bottles piled up all along the fence, there was an extremely large and vocal Black Lives Matter protest happening at the same time as the Women's Club event.

#BLM954 protest at Stranahan Park 7.10.16  courtesy Dream Defenders
While the City seems content to drift into another summer session without re-addressing the mostly abandoned sharing ban, or the controversial storage ban, County homeless services seem to be taking a different approach.

Although the County's Continuum of Care Board has not had much of a response to the storage controversy so far, at the last monthly Board meeting, it was decided that an "ad hoc" Commitee would be established to specifically address issues at Stranahan Park. The Stranahan Commitee's first meeting will be Friday, July 22nd, at 2:30 pm at Government Center, and voices from outside the local government bureaucracy will be sorely needed.

BSO Captain, and CoC Chairman, Scott Russell, learning about
Live Fresh courtesty Sun Sentinel
A little over a week, the Live Fresh shower truck did a demonstration at Saint Anthony's Catholic Church. Unfortunately, the fluff stories on this welcome idea did not discuss the fact that this program does not currently have a means to move forward in Broward County. There would need to be a locally based non-profit to generate the donations or funding for the project, and to work out contracts with the various municipalities as to when and where they would perform their services, dump wastewater, and so on. At this time, there are not a lot of non-profit programs in Broward County that would take on such a task. Even if they would, it would probably take a better part of a year before this handful of toilets and showers would be available to anyone in the County.

We'll be holding on for a day when we can announce actual "progress" on these issues as opposed to "updates."

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