The Fort Lauderdale City Commission might be about to make a big mistake.
The Commission is reacting to pressure from the powerful Downtown Development Authority to solve the age old problem of vagrancy. But this time around, it might be at the expense of a nearby neighborhood. The Authority is rightfully tired of losing business and image due to chronic vagrants, and wants the vagrancy problem gone – kaput – nada – out a here ! So the Commission is looking at kicking the can down the road a piece.
My advice? ……. Don’t do it !!
The idea on the table is to lease a building somewhere out of the downtown core and put out word that chow is on !….. Sure, that will alleviate the problem downtown, but it will just move it on! And of course no neighborhood wants this problem. Life is hard enough without the government stepping in to help!
Victoria Park is the latest neighborhood up at bat, and predictably, they are screaming foul! ….. Their opposition leader, Charles King , says to move the problem to a “worthless” building out in Commissioner Dubose’s district …( Yes, he actually said that!)
Guess what? ….. If you build it anywhere, even more troubled souls will find their way to Fort Lauderdale !!
they will come !
Before the responsibly run Homeless Assistance Center was built on Sunrise Blvd.across from the South Middle River Civic Association in the late 1990′s, the City housed all homeless, including the chronically vagrant folks, in a big tent downtown. It was a total mess.
Truth is, we shouldn’t tolerate inhumane conditions in our City, period. Leaving people out to sleep in doorways and the bushes is wrong, just plain wrong. We need to take them in, help them with the issues that made them homeless to start with, get them back in the mainstream.
We need to insist on it. And if they don’t want to be taken in, don’t want our help, …… my opinion? …… help them find another town.