On January 24th 2023, the Leon County Commission held a discussion about the homelessness issue within Leon County and the steps the county is taking to help solve the ongoing problem.
Commissioner Christian Caban initiated the conversation by making a motion to establish a workshop to address the homeless problems. He noted the large number of homeless individuals on Pensacola St. and Monroe St.
Commissioner Bill Proctor added, “We want to be compassionate, but we’ve erred on the side of being soft.” He continued, “You don’t play hard ball using a plastic bat, and this is a hard ball issue.” Proctor also noted that, “We should probably look for best practices and some models from across the country.”
Commissioner Brian Welch suggested asking the Sheriff for a follow up on the HOST Program instead of a workshop. The Homeless Outreach Street Team (HOST) Program is a program in which deputies with specialized training provide assistance and resources to homeless individuals. County Administrator Vincent S. Long stated that a follow up for the Host Program has been scheduled for the next meeting.
When Commissioner Welch asked if a HOST Program update could serve as an alternative to the workshop, Caban agreed and went on to say, “I do believe this is a growing concern specifically in District 2.”
Caban explained that a large portion of the residents in District 2 drive on Pensacola St. every day. He stated, “There are some things going on, on Pensacola St. that if I had a child, I would not want them to see at a young age.”
Commissioner Rick Minor addressed the $6.2 million that the county and city spent on homelessness efforts one year ago. Minor said that he has asked for an update presentation for the County Commission to help identify where the investment made improvements of the County’s homelessness efforts. He stated, “I think the public out there is looking for answers and looking for resolutions. We had a historical amount of investment in homelessness assistance efforts, and we need to really figure out how that money was spent.”
The HOST Program update will be presented to the commission at the next meeting in March, and the use of financial investments will be addressed at the March or April meeting.
1. What $6.2 million? They voted on it with the understanding it would not be available until October 2022 when and if they got Rescue Plan money from the Feds. October has come and gone. No one has seen that money. It was all platitudes to get people to stop complaining.
If the money did come, it went straight into the Big Bend Continuum of Care Slush Fund. It was never put out for orgs to apply for grants.
2. The old Shelter had approx 200 beds, the Kearney Center has 400 beds but after Covid now only has 150 beds! Do the Math! Yet they get the same $5 million from BBCoC for doing less!
3. The Kearney Center has not allowed people from outside the Big Bend to stay there. It used to be an issue with Orlando and Jax shipping us homeless, but it is not because of the Kearney anymore.
4. The reason so many camp out around the Kearney is because they can use the amenities during the day, like food and showers, but don’t have to abide by curfew and rules at night.
Tallahassee, through the efforts of the Kearney Center in particular, has become an absolute magnet for homeless people from other jurisdictions. Decent people who care about the quality of life in Tallahassee need to get together, dump the “progressives” enablers, and get serious about this issue. We have psychiatrists from Boston sending their schizophrenics and drug addicts to Tallahassee (literally giving out brochures about the ameneties), we have prisoner release programs directing their recently released felons to Tallahassee. These are people with NO CONNECTION TO TALLAHASSEE other than the fact that they are told they can get a sweet deal. We must get serious about this before we hit the point of no return. The solution is not more money to build fancier programs that end up importing more homeless people. Be compassionate with women and children in our community, but make it clear that Tallahassee isn’t an attractive place to come and be homeless. Pass ordinances to the maximum extent permissible that make it difficult to panhandle. Stop giving scammers money on the side of the street.
Whoever mentioned Ghazvini influence is right on the money. Developers buying the local government is the real story of Tallahassee/Leon gov. Ric Fernandez (City Manager Reese Goad’s political godfather) works for them, after being ousted from City Hall over unethical behavior scandal. Influence there cannot be overstated: bought and paid for. Welaunee, Doak, key six-figure gov personnel, ongoing decisions today.
Priorities priorities…compare $6.2 million that the county and city spent on homelessness to handing $25 million to FSU for luxury stadium seating.
Nicholas, you said it!
Just a quick observation.
All business’s have taken down the plexiglass covid sneeze guards at the check out and other customer/employee interaction areas. Look at your virtue signaling Nannies in the above recent picture with there covid sneeze guards still in place. Annoying virtue signaling leftists can whizz us normal folk off in so many ways.
No more panhandling on city streets.
Escort them to the county line.
Word will get around we will not tolerate them.
They will find another place to hang out.
As long as you feed and house them, they will just grow in numbers.
We need the FDLE to come in and conduct an audit accounting for each and every penny of that $6.2 Million.
HELP US GOVORNOR DESANTIS
Those were words of wisdom by Commissioner Proctor, I agree. However, he has had 25 years to work on the problem and also be reminded that he is a bought and paid for elected official… another product from the Ghazvini machine.
Bill Proctor is the only one who acknowledged that the Commission policies are part of the problem. He is also the only one who had a practical suggestion. It’s too bad he was ignored on both counts.
Has anyone ever seen Cool Hand Luke?
The (HOST) Program Update will NOT answer your Questions, it will be a glossed over summery. You need REAL solutions. .
The problem started when they came to be referred to as “homeless” rather than bums and beggars.
I have no sympathy for homeless people. They’re a blight and degrade and destroy everything around them. Make panhandling a crime and enforce trespassing laws where these people keep hanging around. They don’t want to be in jail because then they can’t use. Eventually they’ll pack up and become someone else’s problem in another bleeding heart town. But we’re a town full of spineless liberals, so you know that’ll never happen.
Standard LC OP these days. throw gasoline on a fire, 1yr later, act shocked/confused/caring when the fire got bigger. Then propose a workshop to suck up more funding. 1 yr later, workshop findings, will be need more time and funding. Any of yall actually called the HOST program? I personally called and spoke with these people about a issue I witness daily. They told me their priority is to #1 inform your local homeless about the money/junk LC will give them. they have no motivation to resolve/remove/relocate the problem, efforts are to get more weed and alcohol to your local neighborhood vagrants so they can setup a drug fueled tarp city next to your neighborhood, so they can get high and beg more comfortably. mini-Chicago right here voters. keep voting LC, we might lose our ranking of most violent place in FL.
Talk, talk, talk, no action. You get what you vote for. Another Ghazvini delivered special interest politician
If 10% of the bleeding hearts in Leon County actually practiced what they constantly preach to everyone else, (caring for the homeless) we wouldn’t have a homeless problem.
All Caban is going to do is run his mouth and waste our time and money. There will be more homeless when he’s done.
Stop giving them food and money on the streets. It only confuses them into thinking begging is normal. And now the bums are committing violent crimes. Too many social programs reinforce the poor behavior that has doomed generations to a life of crime and prison or living on the streets.
$6.2 million, wow! <—- your first clue the Leon Co. Board has absolutely no idea how to solve this problem, either.