City Commissioner Jeremy Matlow Discusses Homelessness, Police Review Board on Above the Fold

City Commissioner Jeremy Matlow Discusses Homelessness, Police Review Board on Above the Fold

City Commissioner Jeremy Matlow appeared on Above the Fold with Tallahassee Reports Editor Steve Stewart on Feb. 2 to discuss issues including homelessness, affordable housing and the new Citizens Police Review Board (CPRB).

At the beginning of the show, Matlow discussed how local government has not taken an active role in solving the issue of homelessness and instead shifted responsibility to the Kearney Center and other nonprofits.

“What we’re seeing, compounded by the pandemic and evictions, is an increase of the homeless population on North Monroe, on Mahan, out on I-10, and really, the question is what do we do?” Matlow said. “We can’t vilify people; we can’t displace people and have them move around. So, how do we create the resources and space to get people into homes and shelters in a way that works for everyone?”

Matlow said that money is not the issue — because the money to solve homelessness exists — it is about making it a priority. Matlow mentioned that local solutions can include getting people into housing as soon as possible because interjecting right away can be effective in making sure the same people are not homeless a year from now.

The new Citizens Police Review Board also came up during the show. Matlow appointed Luther Lee to the board and said that he has high hopes for the board because of its diversity and the different backgrounds that members represent.

“Having that open line of communication is huge because a lot of times, people feel like government and law enforcement can cause social unrest but having more community involvement, I think can go a long way,” Matlow said.

At the end of the show, Matlow discussed affordable housing and gave his thoughts on the supply of housing for people who have a low income. He expressed the trend of large and luxury developments being constructed but not enough projects focused on the low-income population.

“There are avenues and paths, we just need to get creative about it,” he said. “I think the CRA (Community Redevelopment Agency) can be a driving force in helping to redevelop small lots in Frenchtown and the Southside that can be nice, safe, affordable housing units. And there are some opportunities in Blueprint as a lot of their projects have actually demolished housing and how they can play a role in replenishing them.”

The full audio of the interview is available here.

6 Responses to "City Commissioner Jeremy Matlow Discusses Homelessness, Police Review Board on Above the Fold"

  1. “Matlow mentioned that local solutions can include getting people into housing as soon as possible” ……… That’s all well and good but, they have to be able to pay for that Housing or they are back on the Streets. It needs to be more structural. I have said this before and I will say it again…………..

    “We know it needs to be on a Bus Route therefor there are few places to choose from. I say
    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 them 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 and move into a place of their own. It will also give them an Address so they can receive their Benefits, especially since many of them are Veterans.”

  2. The large homeless camps present a public health hazard for water born illness that can be fatal to anyone downstream because of the raw fecal matter getting directly into the ground water.
    Cholera and other such illness can infect anyone “downstream” from these camps.
    We will just get real sick if we are lucky and some of us may pass away in a horrible painful death you would not want to inflict on your worst enemies either real or political.
    This is a public health hazard that presents a clear and present danger to everyone. Democrats and Republican, Christians and Atheists, Straight and Gay.

  3. Typical politi-speak and feckless platitudes. It didn’t take long for the establishment to whip this cat into place. When everything is a priority, nothing is a priority. Homelessness is not some new phenomenon that has caught everyone off guard, and the scamdemic and evictions did not cause it. However, the economic and emotional destruction as a result of knee jerk and reckless reactions taken by the local, state, and federal political tools has certainly had a negative impact on any reasonable attempt to address the overall challenge.

    Dennis Barton is correct in recognizing that any attempt to address the overall problem must begin with an assessment of the root cause on an individual basis. Wasting loads of taxpayer funds on a feel good cookie cutter concept will simply grow and perpetuate the problem, and simply send us around the mountain again and again and again. It is the individuals responsibility to change/alter/correct his or her path and standing in life. All local communities (ie: tax dollars) can do is provide some sensical, reasonable, and responsible direction and guidance to the individual. But as always… you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink.

  4. I’m glad to know that this very serious issue is gaining attention, but the Walmart Tville Road encampment on City owned property is growing and remains a huge public safety issue. Please act now Tallahassee. Can we do two things at once? Act now and plan for future housing.

  5. I would think that the first step in addressing the homeless issue is determining who it is that is homeless. If the the homeless person has roots in Leon County / Tallahassee then it is plausible to think the local community has some responsibility to provide that homeless person a bridge back to being a productive citizen. Not so for the homeless person who wanders the county looking for the softest heart. Those homeless are not our responsibility and the level of action by our government should be to provide them a ticket back to where they weren’t homeless.

  6. I commend Jeremy Matlow for stepping up and being accountable for the homelessness problem in Tallahassee… It is ignored by most liberals who pretend to be so socially conscious.

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