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Old 01-27-2016, 03:54 AM
 
2,056 posts, read 2,441,426 times
Reputation: 3799

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I've been following the ongoing issue with the homeless in Daytona Beach with interest, and it's really a mess. We moved from Daytona to St Pete recently, and Daytona could learn a lesson or two from other cities when it comes to handling this problem.

My wife and I watched things get worse and worse over our four year stay, all caused by the city's refusal to do essentially anything about this. First, they passed an ordinance preventing individuals or groups from offering outside public meals to people. Then they closed the public bathrooms downtown, which affected everyone that went to the library or visited the parks. In the meantime, there has been NO shelter housing of any kind for men, just a scattering of occasional beds for families. I think the Salvation Army allows men to stay one week free a year, then it charges $10 a nite.

The locals were forever complaining about the amount of homeless downtown, but in truth you seldom saw anyone unless they were heading over to the food stamp office or to a meal at the church. Services for the homeless are close to non existent, and the police will hassle anyone who even looks like they're homeless. The whole thing has been a fiasco, and even one of the city officials recently called it a "choke out" maneuver to drive people away. But drive them to where? No shelters, no beds, no nothing. The city just does a horrible job of managing anything not pertaining to NASCAR and biker events (and they're fast losing even the bikers to surrounding cities). The scarce services that are offered for homeless people is frightening. I don't know how those people have been surviving w/o regular meals, medical treatment or showers and clothes.

We lived next door in South Daytona, and it got to the point over the last couple of years that we would do anything we could to avoid going into Daytona. It wasn't because of the homeless either. The police chief, who is revered there, doesn't seem to be able to take care of day to day crime issues, and for a long time his officers spent most of their time hanging out and around a coffee house downtown. There isn't much crime to speak of downtown because there isn't much reason to be there. Tourists and locals seldom go to the sparse selection of antique stores and over priced restaurants, preferring to stay by the beaches. With the courts, food stamp office, medicare building, and bus terminal (more like a refugee zone) all grouped around themselves downtown, I was forever encountering strange folks. One guy exposed himself to me while I was on my bike. I saw people sitting in an outdoor cafe downtown berate and become verbally abusive to some poor woman who had returned from eating one of the infrequent free meals at a church downtown. They were shouting at her and calling her names and all I could think of was what is wrong with you people? It was just very unpleasant to go downtown, so we didn't. It was unpleasant to live in Volusia county, so we left.

A lot of the problems are state and county screw ups, not just Daytona's. There is an insane situation in place wherein people are paroled to Volusia county from jail or prison and told to get a job in order to avoid being sent back, yet there are no facilities to stay in, and little to no work for anyone that is down on their luck. To make matters worse, they are prevented from moving anywhere else to get work by their parole terms, and if they lie out of desperation about their criminal history to get a job they are fired if this is discovered. Who is going to hire someone just paroled from jail w/ no home, no phone, and no way of getting to work? There are at least two large homeless camps in the woods that the city turns a blind eye to because there is nowhere else for people to go. No bathrooms, no facilities of any kind, and one camp is primarily for sex offenders that have been paroled. So anyone being paroled into the area will find no place to stay, little to no treatment options for drug, alcohol, medical or mental health issues, no work, and will be told they can't leave or they will be violating their parole terms and be sent back to prison. It's an endless carrousel wheel to keep people returning to jail because they are put back into society with no options. The whole thing is a lesson on how to spend as little money as possible helping people, preventing others from helping by passing ordinances, and keeping individuals mired in poverty and hopelessness because they committed the crime of being visibly in need of a shelter. The financial costs for the police, jails and courts must be far higher than building proper facilities, and the level of human suffering is like something right out of a book. But it's not a book, it's real lives. The city, county, and state should be ashamed of themselves. It's only going to get worse unless something changes, and it won't.

Last edited by smarino; 01-27-2016 at 04:16 AM..
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Old 01-27-2016, 05:08 AM
 
10,540 posts, read 10,756,151 times
Reputation: 5194
I think st pete looked to have much more homeless downtown, granted I visited several years ago. Downtown Melbourne is nicer imo than Daytona beach street (I believe that is what you are referring to), but there is a still as bad of a homeless problem there too.

Have you ever been to San Francisco, it's horrible there,, much more frequent, despite being an ultraliberal city in an ultraliberal state as col is disproportionately worse there compared to salaries.

My point is that this is a national problem, not a Daytona or FL one. Sf is trying to figure out how to get rid of them temporarily while the super bowl is going on
S.F. Supervisor Scott Wiener: Homeless Tent Camps ‘Need to Go Away’ | Boomtown | News Fix | KQED News
https://www.rt.com/usa/329883-san-fr...ss-super-bowl/
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Old 01-27-2016, 06:34 AM
 
Location: Port Charlotte
3,926 posts, read 4,723,235 times
Reputation: 3408
NYC is allowing public urination, etc because it 'discriminates' and would allow young 'menof color' to fully reach their capabilities'.

What do you want? A clean safe community or one that allows public defication and urination in the name of compassion?
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Old 01-27-2016, 07:27 AM
 
Location: Florida
4,103 posts, read 4,241,313 times
Reputation: 10036
We have a homeless problem here in Downtown Jax and at Jax Beach as well. Its not just Daytona. As mentioned this is a National problem.
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Old 01-27-2016, 01:07 PM
 
15,090 posts, read 30,941,888 times
Reputation: 18143
Quote:
Originally Posted by chopchop0 View Post
I think st pete looked to have much more homeless downtown, granted I visited several years ago. Downtown Melbourne is nicer imo than Daytona beach street (I believe that is what you are referring to), but there is a still as bad of a homeless problem there too.

Have you ever been to San Francisco, it's horrible there,, much more frequent, despite being an ultraliberal city in an ultraliberal state as col is disproportionately worse there compared to salaries.

My point is that this is a national problem, not a Daytona or FL one. Sf is trying to figure out how to get rid of them temporarily while the super bowl is going on
S.F. Supervisor Scott Wiener: Homeless Tent Camps ‘Need to Go Away’ | Boomtown | News Fix | KQED News
https://www.rt.com/usa/329883-san-fr...ss-super-bowl/
I agree, it is a national problem, and many cities, (especially SF, that you mentioned!) having it SO much worse! There are no easy answers to this dilemma.

But OP, why the long rant? You moved out of there so why do you care what happens in Daytona now?
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Old 01-28-2016, 07:33 PM
 
Location: Daytona Beach, Florida
499 posts, read 1,592,224 times
Reputation: 493
Based on national figures, there is a national "magic number" used to fund homeless services by the Feds. Last time I checked a couple years ago it was .01% Daytona Beach has a population of 61K. So based on the National Average for Homeless -- would need to provide services to ONLY 60 people!!

Local Stats state there are 5K homeless county-wide and 1.5K chronic homeless in Daytona Beach!
The OP lived in another city that sent their homeless population to Daytona Beach.

That's why seeing ANY homeless people was never a problem for him (including his local taxes paying for them too)!

These other cities and the county want to now blame Daytona Beach for the homeless population (which came from other States) -- and REFUSE to pay for any additional costs for services.

It shows the existing brain trust for your residential or commercial investment in the entire county/region!
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Old 01-29-2016, 05:47 AM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
27,798 posts, read 26,056,957 times
Reputation: 14611
Homelessness is a national problem, worse in FL because like animals (excuse the analogy), humans go to warm places in the winter. I know so many people on youtube who live out of their vans/cars and film youtube as an income. Pretty sad, but you do what you have to do to survive. Not a word about homelessness during the national debate last night, unfortunately.....
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Old 02-01-2016, 07:08 AM
 
4,015 posts, read 5,038,811 times
Reputation: 3897
There's always going to be the Haves and Have Nots. It's impossible to get everyone in the middle.
Some people don't/won't work and like the freedom of being homeless.
Others, while they might not enjoy it, aren't willing to work harder than the next guy.
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Old 02-01-2016, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
27,798 posts, read 26,056,957 times
Reputation: 14611
Spent a few days in Daytona and had a good time. Didn't notice the number of homeless that I normally see in my side of the state in TB - we have a ton of homeless both in Tampa and ST Pete unfortunately.
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Old 02-01-2016, 11:57 AM
 
17,348 posts, read 10,443,230 times
Reputation: 8267
Quote:
Originally Posted by lenniel View Post
There's always going to be the Haves and Have Nots. It's impossible to get everyone in the middle.
Some people don't/won't work and like the freedom of being homeless.
Others, while they might not enjoy it, aren't willing to work harder than the next guy.
For many the problem is they can't get work and as their life deteriorates it becomes more and more difficult as they have no decent clothes, an address, etc. Then of course is the drug problem no one wants to really deal with and that causes more. Then Vets who have mental problems after serving multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan end up on the streets. It is bad and there is no real solution.
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