County Affirms City’s Choice on Grace Marketplace Management

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Grace Marketplace will likely remain under the control of the Alachua County Coalition for the Homeless and Hungry for at least the next nine months.

The Alachua County Commission on Monday night unanimously voted to affirm the city’s decision to rank the Coalition as the top vendor to enter negotiation talks. The Alachua County Commission and the Gainesville City Commission held a special joint meeting Monday evening at the Alachua County Administration Building, working for more than two hours to come to an agreement on the deal.

Other parts of the motion include a request of how to substantially reduce the number of residents in Dignity Village, which has had a prior problem of homeless victim to alcohol and drugs.

“…people have a variety of different issues that make it difficult to access housing even if the housing is there,” said Iris Burke, a Gainesville resident and professor at the University of Florida.

It also includes a request for the city and county to have a follow-up meeting to exclusively discuss homelessness in March or April. In that meeting, they would discuss a public option, the role of the oversight Board, the issue with the veteran’s building, and how to utilize the property at Grace Marketplace.

About Cassie Amundson

Cassie is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by emailing news@wuft.org or calling 352-392-6397.

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