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Gainesville City Commission discusses moving evicted 'houseless' people

Gainesville city officials are discussing what to do with what they call houseless people that they are moving off Southeast 4th Place.

City Manager Cynthia Curry said she has been working on finding a place for them to go and that the city has secured funding for 10 more beds and appropriate staffing at Grace Marketplace.

She said the people were not targeted for being houseless, but rather for blocking the streets that they occupied.

"What we see on the streets is not generally representative of the homeless population," said Jon DeCarmine, Executive Director of Grace Marketplace. "It is the most vulnerable component of it--five or 10 percent of the entire population. That of course makes up 100 percent of people's perception of what homelessness actually is. So part of our job is to get those folks off the street, no question about it."

Residents showed up to the meeting to voice concerns. Some said that the camps often return shortly after law enforcement officers leave.

"They're loitering in the middle of the street," one resident said in public comment. "I can't drive down the street. I'm afraid to walk to the corner--I'm one house away from the corner."

Curry added that city officials have identified another camp of houseless people near the Walmart on Waldo Road that law enforcement officials moved to break up as the meeting was going on.

Jacob is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing Find him on Twitter and Instagram @JACOBSEDESSE.