Mayor John Dailey: Tallahassee Homelessness is a “Crisis Situation”

Mayor John Dailey: Tallahassee Homelessness is a “Crisis Situation”

At the end of Wednesday’s City Commission meeting, Mayor John Dailey commented on the issue of homelessness in Tallahassee, which has been spotlighted recently due to controversy surrounding a temporary homeless shelter on Mahan Drive.

“We are at a crisis situation in this community, and we must address what is going on with those that are experiencing homelessness not only with service provided towards them but how it is impacting our community as a whole,” Dailey said. “It is not acceptable.”

Dailey said he does not support the temporary homeless shelter on Mahan Drive that is currently being run by City Walk Urban Mission. The shelter, which is located at 1709 Mahan Drive, formed after other area emergency shelters decreased their capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, residents of the Mahan Drive area have voiced concerns about the safety of the shelter.

“If I could wave a magic wand, I would shut it down immediately,” Dailey said.

City Manager Reese Goad said that the temporary shelter is currently not in compliance with City codes, and City staff has given City Walk until Feb. 4 to bring it into compliance. He said if City Walk does not seek compliance, the City will take action to shut down the shelter.

City Walk Executive Director Renee Miller previously told Tallahassee Reports that City Walk has procured a project manager to bring the shelter up to code.

Dailey said he has “grave personal concerns” over the City Walk due to the fact that the shelter is housing a registered sex offender near a neighborhood and preschool. Residents of the area have echoed these concerns.

“We have got to do everything in our power, in my personal opinion, to relocate if not completely shut down this particular homeless shelter,” Dailey said.

He also mentioned that Tallahassee’s homeless population has been migrating into residential neighborhoods, causing residents to feel “extremely uncomfortable and fearful.”

“It is getting to the point where every day we are fielding calls about solicitation in neighborhoods, about aggressive panhandling, which is illegal, knocking on doors in neighborhoods,” he said.

Commissioner Dianne Williams-Cox, who serves on the Big Bend Homeless Coalition, emphasized solving the problem humanely and with empathy. She also said the City should work with the County to address the homeless problem.

On Wednesday morning, ahead of the City Commission meeting, Dailey appeared on the Preston Scott Show and said he believes that the majority of the City Commission agrees with him that the City needs a proactive plan to deal with homelessness.

“We are putting together our plan, and we’re going to be very careful and methodical,” Dailey said. “We want to do it in a way that we treat people with decency and respect.”

26 Responses to "Mayor John Dailey: Tallahassee Homelessness is a “Crisis Situation”"

  1. Speaking from personal experience, I had a ‘homeless’ fellow who worked part time for me for over 9 years. He lived at the shelter on West Tennessee. He was paid cash every day with which he promptly bought illegal drugs. He told of the situation at the shelter. He had to be in by 7 PM and they slept on the floor on pads. But he had been there long enough that he had been rewarded with a bunk bed. So the longer he stayed, the better the accommodations. Most of you do not have any idea why these people are homeless but many of them prefer that lifestyle over working and be responsible citizens (mental illness excepted).

  2. Single member districts in City elections will solve many of our issues. School Board and County Commission have single member districts. Let someone from a certain area be responsible for his/her area and the voters from that area. It will de-centralize the city power cabal. Right now all city voters elect all seats with only one segment of the population needed to win a seat. I have lived in the same house, within the city, for 17 years and only one city candidate has knocked on my door asking for my vote…….that was Steve Stewart and he did it twice.

  3. Take note of the major political party affiliation of almost every city with a “homeless crisis.” That’s not a coincidence. Liberals are not business friendly, which makes unemployment and homelessness higher in these areas by default. You want a job? Quit voting blue.

  4. And the candidate who has the expertise in dealing with the homeless, lost to the candidate who uses our tax dollars to paint contentious controversial political messages on public streets that incites violence.

    Bill Schack for Mayor!!!!

  5. It would appear that the City leadership has discovered a solution. Using our hard-earned tax dollars to payoff local slumlords to take in the homeless and scatter them all about the city is every neighborhood. They’ll not only use our tax dollars to pay them a bonus to take them in, but also cover the rent and damages they cause to the property.

    … can’t make this stuff up

  6. Great idea Jon:
    Back in the BHO days of occupy Wall Street we had a local contention of them camping on a vacant space near the Turlington Building. Lets open that space to the homeless.

  7. I say let them all camp at Klemen and Cascades, and maybe house some in all these new hotels and luxury Downtown living. 18 hour downtown!

  8. You telling me we have free campgrounds scattered around Leon County??!! Do they have electric, water, and sewer hookups for campers? Or is it just tent camping?

  9. The way the mayor has ignored the panhandling at intersections is unconscionable.

    Projects are not meeting environmental and aesthetic standards (Welaunee, Boulos).

    They continue to find money for ridiculous politically motivated boondoggles and create slush funds at the expense of our quality of life.

    They waste taxpayer dollars on political propaganda and projects that incite violence.

    Yet they keep getting voted in.

    Do the Liberals realize they are also hurting themselves?

  10. Much like the manufactured hysteria over climate change, homelessness has been around since the beginning of time, and will continue until the end of time… and no matter how much taxpayer money you confiscate and wastefully throw at these realities, you will never change the natural evolution of humanity or the planet.

    The futility and malfeasance of the endeavor begins with the feckless declaration of a plan to “end” (insert delusional and exploited NaziCrat cause here).

  11. I’m betting the County and City Commissioners will throw money at the problem and solve nothing. Ask yourself, how have Commissioners solve all the problems they encountered? Throw money at it. Look how long they have failed to address crime….other than to reclassify what constitute a crime. Go ahead and add $15.00 minimum wage, higher taxes and see if that helps solve the problem.

  12. Here’s a novel idea, siphon some the money off the electric utility, defund your golden chute retirement plan and subsidize (pay) rent for these people.

  13. I believe that this topic being an afterthought at the end of a meeting and not a top agenda item speaks volumes and therein lies the problem.

    The liberal leadership is deficient in their responsibilities and now the evidence only confirms this.

    Voters wanted this leadership and a bad voting decision has consequences

    I would think even the Democrats are looking for a candidate to primary the mayor.

  14. The homeless problem is out of control at the I10 and Monroe interchange, there are typically 10+ people camping/sleeping and panhandling at the interchange there. They appear to be younger, physically fit people too. the homeless situation in Tallahassee seems to be exponentially growing and needs to stop. TPD needs to do their job, its illegal to panhandle, there needs to be significant pressure on these people to NOT be homeless bums.

  15. You really need to come up with more original material and not copy/paste hateful spew from your previous posts. If you can’t come up with anything productive, at least make it creative. Geez.

  16. So tell me, “BlahBlahBlah”… with that big, compassionate, caring, liberal heart of yours… exactly how many “less fortunate”, homeless drug addicts, homeless criminals, homeless pedophiles, ect… have you taken into your glass house? … or are you like most of your judgmental and hypocritical ilk, and waiting for some guy named “Federal” to take care of the problem.

    … go ahead… take your time… I’ll wait…

  17. Edward Lyle, what is a NaziCrat?

    I disagree with your assessment people trying to assist the homeless in a way that is humane and preserves dignity are in any way “PC” or “pansy”. Conversely, it takes tough people to be compassionate to those society deems worthless or beyond help. Clearly these comments would indicate that it’s not a popular position to take. So, with that in mind, I’d encourage you to toughen up. Any pansy can say, “Nope not here!” or “I want to help the homeless, but….”. Toughen up and be part of the solution rather than a trash talking pansy.

  18. So… the flop house “isn’t” in compliance, and yet the city leaders claim they do not have the power to shut it down… hmmmm

    Until we stop with the PC (they’re just “less fortunate”) Pansy culture, and address this issue on an individual and personal responsibility basis, this ignorance and waste of tax dollars will continue in perpetuity. Only in a NaziCrat-run city do you see hordes of homeless staggering past “Now Hiring” signs on their way to a taxpayer-funded handout.

    When will these people figure out that it pays to be homeless? It’s a seasonal issue whereby the head to southern NaziCrat-run cities in the winter and suck up all their entitlements, then back up north to NaxiCrat-run cities in the summer… rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat….

  19. I live in a neighborhood close to the shelter. I do feel concerned for the people who stay there, but this is not the place to put the shelter. It may be in a building on land zoned commercial, but the commercial strip is only one building wide on one side of the street. It has a residential neighborhood behind it and the lots across the street are zoned residential.

    In short, this is not the place for the shelter. Maybe a building could be found close to other shelters, like the one on Pensacola St., or money could be found to provide existing shelters with portable buildings, similar to the portable classrooms that some schools use.

    There are some high emotions surrounding this issue, and I hope that a solution will soon be found, but it will be found quicker with cooler heads.

    –Concerned Resident

  20. Great break down of the issues Old Voter.
    Another sticky issue is City Walk is likely not affiliated with any “usual suspects” who are willing to contact elected officials on City Walk’s behalf. But most importantly City Walk most likely does not have access to money to funnel to our elected officials in the form of campiagn contributions. And even if they did the folks at City Walk may be actually honest and would not stoop to bribing a public official even in a quasi legal way. The Mayor was brave to make even the limited stand he did on this issue. Standard past Mayor [ A. G. ] procedure would be to accuse the homeowners of being bad people along with appointing a task force to nowhere made up of “usual suspects” who will toe the line for Reese Goad.

  21. I have posted this in another Thread.

    “We know it needs to be on a Bus Route therefor there are few places to choose from. I say take some of that $10 Million Dollars to be used for the NE Part and use it to buy several Acres on Tram Road (inside Cap. Cir.) or on Spring Hill Road (inside Cap. Cir.) and build 8 to 10 large Quonset Huts. 6 to 8 of then are to be like Bootcamp Barracks and the rest used for a Mess Hall, Laundry, Showers, etc. Nothing fancy, just the basics. Fence the area off and set rules. You run it like you would an Army Base. To maintain the Property and Buildings, Cooking and Cleaning, you assign Jobs to those staying there that are able to do them. Doing this will give them time to get cleaned up, get the help they need and hopefully find a Job. It will also give them an Address to they can receive their Benefits, especially since many of them are Veterans.”

  22. First, my compliments to the mayor for having the courage to address the issue. Most elected and appointed officials stay clear of this particular issue due to its potential for political blowback. No matter what the city commissioners do there will be some very vocal, unhappy voters.
    However, having said that, the mayor really didn’t propose a solution other than another site inspection. The city will find the shelter to be in violation, justification for shutting it down or making it move to a different location away from angry voters. That’s the trick, finding the right location where voters are oblivious to the presence of the convicted felons, drug users, sexual predators, and mentally unstable “unfortunates” in their midst.
    So, the mayor has (not so) bravely stepped into the issue, knowing full well the votes he will regain from his action will be greater than the votes he loses.

  23. The people have to have a place to go but they must be told they need to find jobs to improve their situation not sit on the corner with a sign. Housing must be provided with the stipulation they work

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