Mayor Jack Seiler says it’s one piece of City Business that has frustrated him – the City’s Homeless problems.
While Broward County is lauded for it’s Homeless Assistance Center on Sunrise Boulevard, the chronic homeless, either because of substance abuse problems, or their distrust of help centers, can’t get help there, and have continued to live off the land, mostly Downtown.
These chronic homeless have also frustrated lots of citizens, mostly downtown residents and business people, but some of this years’ actions of the City Commission seem to be working!
Stranahan Park at South Andrews and Broward Blvd., once ground zero for the chronic homeless, is no longer the destination of choice by the area’s homeless and their feeders.
The City “temporarily” closed the park, which was in deplorable condition, and 100’s of volunteers have turned the park into a tropical oasis – leaving little room for homeless to use as their makeshift camp.
The City Commission has struggled with other ways to limit the negative effects caused by this hard to help group, like busing some home to their real homes up north, and ticketing some for aggressive panhandling, but the retaking of Stranahan Park seems to have had the biggest effect.
But as always, when you squeeze the balloon in one place, it pops up somewhere else!
Here is where it has popped up!. Ironically, this is the location of the City’s infamous Tent City of the early 1990’s, where the chronic homeless lived under tents and sometimes shot and raped each other.
None of that should happen here, as there is no tent, only a fraction of the population, and the ones that now call this square of blacktop “home”, are much better managed.
These folks pictured above told me they slept here last night, but that the Police “came at 6am and turned on their sirens until we got up”.