An alert from the Tallahassee Police Department about a dangerous individual who was “harassing patrons and businesses in the downtown area” has prompted a twitter thread highlighting the impact of the homelessness issue on downtown Tallahassee.
The alert – provided below – notes that the individual “may have been violent towards citizens..”
Peter Schorcsh, the owner and publisher of FloridaPolitics.com, tweeted about the TPD alert and then noted the troubling status of downtown Tallahassee.
Schorsch wrote, “the situation speaks to the crisis in downtown Tallahassee, which, IMO, has not been in this bad a shape in the time since I first visited the Capital City in 1993.”
Schorsch added, “the once-beautiful downtown of Hill Valley has become a dystopian hellscape with rundown buildings, trash, and rampant crime; a decline so shocking that even hoverboards and self-lacing Nikes can’t dispel the sense of abject failure and ruin.”
Others responded and agreed.
Steve Schale, a well known political consultant replied to Schorsch, “Not disputing any of this, but part of the solution has to be an active effort to get folks help and pointed in a better direction. Otherwise all we are doing is moving problems to other parts of town.”
Jennifer Green, a government consultant, tweeted, “Human feces on the street, in building doorways, people being attacked in broad daylight – this is a health and safety issue that Tallahassee leadership is ignoring and making no public statements. Thank god for the members of law enforcement who are trying to help.”
Green added in a tweet, “I own my dream building and business but I now do not walk to the parking garage alone because I don’t feel safe. This is an absolute shame in our state capital and a block from our state government.”
Schorsch, who lived in Tallahassee twice over the last 20 years and indicated that he visits about 15 times a year, described in detail the problem and the impact.
-“Now, almost every major street corner in Tally has at least 2 people aggressively panhandling. Go north on Monroe St & you can see heavy foot traffic of homeless ppl, some of whom are women who frequent cheap hotels that are the target of sex trafficking raids by TPD.”
– “In the downtown area, aggressive confrontations with the homeless are becoming more common and human feces are evident on the sidewalks.”
-“The smell of urine reeks from the alleys and dark corners. Trash and food containers are strewn everywhere. In what used to be the pleasant shortcut through Galley Alley to the Capitol is now a nest of dirty bedding, empty bottles, and junk food debris.”
Schorsch wrapped of his analysis by asking, “Don’t Tallahassee City Commissioners realize that they can’t be a city that wants to grow new jobs while simultaneously forcing CEOs who are visiting the Capitol to walk past fresh piles of human xxxx?
And then added, at a “time when other cities like Jacksonville are showing the political resolve to ban panhandling, Tallahassee’s City Commission seems content to either ignore the problem or actually adopt policies that make it worse…..Tallahassee leadership needs to do something — quickly — to restore the City to the gorgeous place it was just 20 years ago.”
Rase you hand if you saw this coming!
Tallahassee has become a complete shithole.
One of you mentioned driving them to the County Line. Here is the Irony…. —
The Big Bend Continuum of Care (notice it says Big Bend and not Leon County) gets a huge HUD grant of over $5 million per year that they disperse mostly to the Kearney Center and they keep a bit for their own budget.
The other Big Bend counties are entitled to some of that money, but instead, opt out of the funding by agreeing to send their homeless to Tallahassee. So Tallahassee gets to keep all the money.
If homeless people show up in or are released from jail or prison in Gadsden, Wakulla, Jefferson, etc… those Sheriff’s offices drive them straight to Tallahassee and dump them.
I don’t like the way the homeless are discussed, as though they’re all terrible, mentally ill and/or yucky and because of that, they don’t deserve our help. (We can call them the yucky camp), either that or they’re all victims of society, and we should let all of them move in with us. (we can call them the victims camp). It sounds like I’m being childish and simplistic about how childish and simplistic the discussion is, right?
The issue is being handled as another bit of evidence of our trend towards polarization. Can anyone disagree about that? In fact, on social media, derogatory references regarding political affiliations, based on which camp a person is in, is quite common.
The problem is, categorizing the homeless, based on political opinion, fear, guilt or helpfulness that only enables prolonged suffering, is only making the problem worse.
There’s a clear difference between the needs of an honest family who is homeless due to any number of economic hardships, and those of people who wander around screaming, pooping on the streets, aggressively panhandling, etc.
Those who don’t want to see any more money spent on the homeless reference those who are menacing to the public. Those who think more should be spent on the problem of homeless, reference the hard working honest (or would work if it was available) people.
The latest trend in interpreting the First Amendment, allows aggressive panhandling and intimidation, as long as it doesn’t interfere with traffic patterns. That doesn’t seem right to me. It also doesn’t seem right for the police to ignore those who are clearly not coherent.
I doubt I have any more answers than anyone else, but I sure as hell believe we can do a better job of discussing it, without the name calling and absurd generalizations.
Instead of treating the homelessness, why aren’t we addressing WHY people are homeless? Between mental illnesses, which are treated as catch and release, and abject poverty, both could easily be addressed by simply redirecting the flow of money.
HDM…we are already spending millions upon millions on homelessness. Leon County says they spend over $6 million last year alone. No clue how much COT spends. Then add Kearney Center, apts for homeless veterans, Hope Community and many other non-profits. I am all for helping Leon County homeless but not for recruiting homeless from all over the country which is what we are doing.
After reading this, my recent move from Tallahassee seems insightful.
“Homelessness will become more rampant with fentanyl.”
I’m asking, not stating, if overdoses are left to their own end, wouldn’t the problem be selfcorrecting over time? Should taxpayers foot the cost of supplying expensive Narcan.
For those who take the opioid path, should we let them live it til the die and respect their decision to die, not counteract it with expensive OD treatment, just for them to go forth and do it again?
@Deep Six — as an FSU student in the 70s we walked from campus to the downtown area and back many time, at all hours of the day. Times have certainly changed!
I went to see Bob Weir and the Wolf Bros. at the Florida Theater in Jacksonville last weekend. We walked out of the beautiful downtown Florida Theater and proceeded to walk the six blocks back to the Marriot. The downtown was clean and free of criminals harassing concert goers. I’m going to see Emmy Lou at Ruby Diamond next month. There is no way I’d walk from there to the Hotel Duval at midnight…not in this town.
Maybe we could spend millions of dollars to address homelessness in this city instead of pay for stadium upgrades.
I was recently told by someone in the police department that there are signs in bus stations around the South telling people to go to Tallahassee because they are welcoming. Was also told by TPD that they were no longer allowed to encounter homeless. A number of years ago they were allowed to speak with them, get their names to ensure they had no prior record. The homeless issue has spread to Old Town for sure. I am getting fearful of walking by myself and of going to Walgreens where homeless frequent.
Libguy, I bet the vast majority of the ones we see on the streets do not want to go to a shelter. And the ones that do, they have to let them out during the day. As we’ve seen, this becomes the ultimate not in my backyard issue.
I worked downtown 16 years ago or so. There was a TPD officer (not a ticket writer), same one every day that worked and patrolled the area on a golf cart or similar vehicle that allowed him to get around easy, and was really engaged. Taking care of issues every day. Not sure if one still does that?
We really need more homeless shelters. The moving of the homeless shelter from downtown to the jail moved secure housing and access to services away from where the homeless are to somewhere many don’t want to be.
This is a real, serious, problem that won’t go away on its own. Get most of these folks somewhere safe, find a way for them to have housing, and we start to fix the problem. It’s going to cost money and take time.
“Next, let a barrage of citizens get up at EVERY meeting to ask the commission what they’re doing about these agenda items and the progress”
The last citizen I heard speak at the city commission meeting they were concerned about the security apparently intimidating the speakers by having their finger on the tree trigger of the taser gun.
Is this the mayor’s and city manager’s updated version of Mayor Marks’ kill switch?
And we wonder why we have a high crime rate, a homelessness crisis, etc…
At EVERY City Commission meeting, there should be at least these three PERMANENT agenda items: Crime, the homeless and affordable housing I’m sure there are many more important concerns that need constant attention.
Next, let a barrage of citizens get up at EVERY meeting to ask the commission what they’re doing about these agenda items and the progress they’re making. Perhaps the commissioners will get tired of hearing all the complaints, meeting after meeting after meeting. They may actually decide to do something constructive about the issues if you have faith that may actually happen.
Homelessness will become more rampant with fentanyl. Mahan is a nightmare which is a main corridor to the city. Our neighborhoods have been dealing with the city officials and planners since 2020 regarding the vagrants and unhoused. Today on Magnolia and Tennessee there were three men panhandling. Last week there was a man splayed, passed out on the sidewalk at the Walgreens across from TMH at 9:00 a.m. when the kids were going to school. It is depressing to see EVERY DAY on EVERY CORNER within the city limits.
Thankful for the police to put it out there and not try to cover up this touchy problem.
Tallahassee aka Tallanasty!
This stuff lies squarely at the feet of Dailey, Richardson, Williams-Cox Reese Goad and the people in power making these decisions. Not the two Commissioners who aren’t funded by insider establishment Chambercrat network, who from what I can tell are cut out of decision-making by today’s City Hall
It seems that making comments about about the homeless problem is not working, so far, regardless of the ideas. Maybe citizens should take matters literally in our own hands. How about organizing citizen volunteers as a group to walk downtown streets early mornings and pick up the litter (bedding, clothing, trash, etc)? A city garbage truck could follow the volunteers. TPD, or FHP, or LCSO personnel probably should accompany them in case of the occasional interaction with homeless individuals. Snow shovels, rubber gloves, face masks, garbage bags, etc would surely be inexpensive enough to be provided by the state, city and county? Better ideas anyone?
Peter Schorcsh has some nerve when he is part of the problem being a PR propaganda front for the mayor.
Mayor Dailey is not a leader for the good of the public at large. His only goal is special interest and to create nonprofits to funnel money into and create a voter base through these nonprofits essentially buying votes at taxpayers expense.
Essentially the ultimate burden is on the city manager and what can I say except the inmates are running the asylum so of course our city is going to look like a dumpster fire.
It only takes one commissioner to stand up to vote to do a nationwide search for a city manager. The next person up for reelection who could make a change, but refuses to is Curtis Richardson. Curtis still has his head in the clouds.
Years ago, (1970s) it was common for the “wanderers” to jump on/off a freight train on the Southwest side of town near Alumni Village. I remember one of them making his way into one of the convenience stores and getting caught stealing a sandwich. He was arrested, and charged with theft. The judge, an old timer (and well known Tallahassee name) had a pretty good head on his shoulders and didn’t want to impose a criminal record on a hungry hobo over a $1.50 sandwich. He asked, point blank, “if that officer over there was to give you a ride back to where you jumped off the train, would you agree to get on the next train and not return to my town?” The bum quickly agreed, and was chauffeured back to the tracks by a TPD officer!
Small town justice. It doesn’t exist around here any more…
This is embarrassing, especially since this is my hometown (51 years). We need to forward this article to our City and County elected officials. But here is my question: what does the Tallahassee Downtown Improvement Authority do? I would definitely love to see an article on this organization. I checked out their website and it appears they don’t do much. So, how are they paid? Taxpayer dollars? With our downtown going down hill, we need to start asking some tough questions. Thanks for the article, Steve!
This is a major slap in the face to Tallahassee elected officials. Up until the time Peter Schorcsh realized that Charlie Crist, about 2 to 3 months prior to the Florida Govornor’s election had zero chance of winning, Peter was one of those leftists who would never say a bad word about other leftists.
Peter’s “Florida Politics” has since become more of a balanced online publication. The fact that Peter took the time to say what he said on twitter is a thousand times more important and significant than all of our local sniping at our elected Nannies about their failures and shortcomings due to their leftist woke methods.
The tide is finally turning on our elected Nannies and that should be your take away from the artical you just read.
Its more then 20 years ago since it was beautiful. Even on a Saturday morning at the market downtown wasn’t safe. I had a local official say they wanted downtown Tallahassee to be just like Thomasville, Georgia. Ha good luck with that. The county and city commissioners in Thomasville care more about their city then this group who for the last 20 years have been running or should I say ruining downtown Tallahassee.
Its more then 20 years ago since it was beautiful. Even on a Saturday morning at the market downtown wasn’t safe. I had a local official say they wanted down Tallahassee to be just like Thomasville, Georgia. Ha good luck with that. The county and city commissioners in Thomasville care more about their city then this group who for the last 20 years have been running or should I say ruining downtown Tallahassee.
Tony, recently a downtown business owner that regularly deals with this population (in hope of keeping his business desirable) said the city folks tasked with handling this told him their solution is just that – to bus out of town. But the problem is other cities do the same thing so tlh constantly receives new inhabitants. Public records request to see what they spend on bus tickets?
Round em up and take them to the county line, soon they will get the idea this is not a sanctuary city for them.
Vote for a progressive city commission this is what you get.
To Schorsch’s question: “Don’t Tallahassee City Commissioners realize that they can’t be a city that wants to grow new jobs while simultaneously forcing CEOs who are visiting the Capitol to walk past fresh piles of human xxxx?”
I believe the answer is no, Tallahassee City Commissioners are clueless and have zero self-awareness regarding decisions they make and the quality of life in the City of Tallahassee. When one has an anti-capitalism bent, the priority of bringing jobs to town doesn’t rank high. If one earnestly believes capitalism is inherently evil, the predictable outcome is decisions will be rooted in that bias. People who hold this bias refuse to see that everywhere on planet earth where progress towards ending poverty has been made, was achieved through some level of deliberate economic development and providing the dignity of gainful employment.
Mental health issues are another piece of the homelessness puzzle that cannot be ignored.
Maddox era (gov execs he bragged about installing at city and blueprint still in charge) corruption actually coming home to roost. This is why reforming the broken Old Boys machine is so important to our public safety
As the saying goes… Elections Have Consequences
Have the police been ordered by city hall not to move homeless along? The people that do not have a problem with the homeless should adopt one and let him move in with them.
“forcing CEOs who are visiting the Capitol to walk past fresh piles of human xxxx?” Hah! everything going according to plan here. This is simply the new CoT green sewers initiative system working in action folks! shut-up, go back to work, and vote for the same losers again next term.
Steve Schale, “Not disputing any of this, but part of the solution has to be an active effort to get folks help and pointed in a better direction. Otherwise all we are doing is moving problems to other parts of town.” This is so true. The solution I had, I thought was just that, help get them pointed in a better direction, and so did many other people BUT, you can’t explain it in a 3 Minute Answer during a Debate and get your point across to the audience.
You could always Bus them to Atlanta, they’ll blend right in.