The Point, Aug. 4, 2021: How The South Main Street Homeless Camp In Gainesville Came To Be


Subscribe to The Point to invite us into your inbox with the most important Florida news from Monday through Friday at 8 a.m.

The top stories near you

• WUFT News: To Control Gainesville’s Downtown Homeless During The Pandemic, Police Turned To A Private Security Contractor. “The fire station camp has a complex backstory. The COVID-19 pandemic turned much of downtown Gainesville into unoccupied territory in 2020, and homeless people say they came to rely on the spaces that closed businesses, empty bus stops and vacant parking lots afforded them.”

• WCJB: Alachua County Public Schools to require masks for students. “Last week, Governor DeSantis signed an executive order directing the department of education to withhold money from school districts that enact mask mandates.”

• Ocala Gazette: County Commissioners out due to COVID-19. “The current COVID-19 surge touched the Marion County Commission as two members joined Tuesday’s meeting by phone due to the virus. Commissioner Carl Zalak tested positive for COVID-19, and Commissioner Kathy Bryant was exposed to the virus recently after her husband tested positive.”

• WUFT News: Here’s When School Starts In 2021 In Alachua County And Other North Central Florida Counties. “With the 2021-2022 school year steadily approaching, and COVID-19 restrictions still in place, it’s important to stay on top of critical dates and other information to help keep children safe in school. See this list for school openings within your county.”

• Florida Storms: Flood Watches Issued For Nature Coast, Big Bend, Panhandle. “Rainfall totals of 4-8 inches are possible along the Nature Coast to near Gainesville and to areas just north of the Interstate 4 corridor.”

• WUFT News: A UF Professor Is Creating Robotic Dogs Trained To Assist First Responders. “A group of doctoral students led by Eric Jing Du, a professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Florida, have trained and developed robotic dogs with the intent of helping first responders virtually see through walls in situations that they would otherwise be blindsided by. Firefighters who have trouble navigating through fires in an unfamiliar environment would be able to escape these situations with the help of the dogs.”

Do you appreciate local journalism?

WUFT is here for you with vital coverage during complex times. We exist to serve north central Florida and are committed to keeping you up to date with the latest news from your community, the state and the world. If you’re able to do so, please consider making a donation to WUFT to keep us going strong.

Support WUFT and your trusted journalism source.

Around the state today

• Associated Press: DeSantis Doubles Down As Florida Again Breaks COVID Record. “DeSantis said he expects hospitalizations to drop in the next couple weeks, insisting that the spike is seasonal as Floridians spend more time together indoors to escape the summer heat and humidity. With the much more contagious delta variant now spreading exponentially, Florida hit 11,515 hospitalized patients Tuesday, breaking last year’s record for the third straight day.”

• Politico: Biden tells DeSantis to ‘get out of the way’ amid Covid surge. “Biden blamed both DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for barring Covid restrictions like mask mandates or vaccine passports — policies that DeSantis has pushed even as the state’s Covid rates skyrocket.”

• News Service of Florida: Florida COVID-19 Hospital Rate Tops Nation. “As of Monday, 11,863 inpatient beds in Florida were being used by COVID-19 patients, about 22 percent of all inpatient beds in the state, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services data show. No other state had as high of a utilization rate.”

• WLRN: Florida Hospitals Struggle To Retain Enough Nurses During COVID-19 Surge. “Hospitals around the country need more nurses, including here in Florida, which has the most per capita hospitalizations for COVID-19 in the country and spiking COVID-19 numbers.”

• WUWF: Task Force May Study Unmarked Pensacola Graveyard. “Florida’s new task force on Abandoned African-American Cemeteries recently convened for its inaugural meeting. Coincidentally, the June discovery of human remains under a historic Pensacola building has led to a 137-year old map that once marked the spot of a nearby graveyard that could fall under the scope of the group’s work.”

• The Tributary: Marsy’s Law was supposed to help victims. In Jacksonville, it shields police officers. “Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams’ office, like others across Florida, has cited a new court ruling that said police officers who fear harm are victims and qualify to have their names kept confidential, even if they shoot or kill someone, under Marsy’s Law, a constitutional amendment approved by the state’s voters in 2018.”

From NPR News

• National: Last Week, 1 In 3 U.S. COVID Cases Were In Florida And Texas

• National: NYC Becomes Largest U.S. City To Require Proof Of Vaccination For Indoor Activities

• National: Biden Calls On New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo To Resign After Harassment Report

• World: Wuhan Orders Testing For All 10 Million Residents As The Delta Variant Hits China

• World: She’s Still Dealing With The Twisties, But Simone Biles Wins Another Medal In Tokyo

• World: Tamyra Mensah-Stock Becomes 1st U.S. Black Woman To Win Wrestling Gold

• Health: Sports Science Is Changing How Female Olympians Train. It Could Help You, Too

• Science: To Save A Huge, 24-Armed Sea Creature, Scientists Become Loving Foster Parents

About today’s curator

I’m Ethan Magoc, a news editor at WUFT. Originally from Pennsylvania, I’ve found a home telling Florida stories. I’m part of a team searching each morning for local and state stories that are important to you; please send feedback about today’s edition or ideas for stories we may have missed to

About WUFT News

Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news

Check Also

The Point, Aug. 12, 2022: More Florida seniors are seeking housing assistance as rents increase

Florida's largest metropolitan areas have become the least affordable for seniors on Social Security benefits.