County Commission Meeting Prompts Homelessness Discussion
The Alachua County Commission was set to discuss three issues Tuesday, one of which was about the Gainesville Correctional Institution becoming a homeless center.
No decisions were made involving the institute, but the topic sparked a conversation regarding homelessness in Gainesville.
Alachua County Commissioner Mike Byerly said that if the institution conversion is successful, it will prompt motivation to address what he believes are the two current problems with homelessness in the area.
“One of these is the illegal tent cities where things happen that shouldn’t happen,” Byerly said. “It is not just being hard on the homeless population. It’s probably not the best circumstance for them either.”
Byerly also wants to address the issue of the homeless population downtown.
“I don’t want to continue to have what we have there [downtown],” he said. “Piles of people’s belongings in garbage bags just stringing around the plaza forever. This is our community center and it very much feels that one group has co-opted [it] for their physical use.”
Byerly said he believes the Gainesville Correctional Institution conversion would be a good step toward improving homelessness in the county.
More Stories in Local
On Wednesday, emergency shelter Grace Marketplace opened its first dorm for the homeless. Residents must adhere to criteria, but the dorm offers a more permanent housing option.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is fighting to decrease hunger and sustain the health of Florida residents. The FDACS has created a new digital map to help locate and determine which areas of Florida have the least amount of access to food and resources.
The Community Redevelopment Agency plans to break ground next year on NW First Avenue, the street a block north of University Avenue bordering the businesses in Midtown.
The Waldo City Council voted 4-1 in favor of dissolving the local police
department on Tuesday night. The city noted negative publicity and outdated equipment as concerns, but ultimately, it was a lack of funding that led to the disbanding the police department.
According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, some charities spend as much as 99 percent of funds raised to help fulfill their mission statement while others funnel the same portion into administration costs.