Florida Law Prompts Homeless Shelters to Ready for Higher Demand, What's New Here

Florida Law Prompts Homeless Shelters to Ready for Higher Demand, What’s New Here?

As the need to assist those without houses may expand, nonprofits are getting ready.

A new legislation that prohibits sleeping in parks or public areas will go into effect in only four months.

Homelessness is a major issue in the Tampa Bay region, according to Aaron Swift of the Homeless Leadership Alliance of Pinellas.

“Thirty something years ago, I was homeless here in Pinellas County from the ages of two to six with my mother,” replied Swift.

It happens to everyone, he said.

The possibilities are getting limited. Mental health concerns are addressed. Drug misuse is the problem. The problem is domestic abuse. The difficulties of homelessness and unhousing are caused by a plethora of variables, according to Swift.

Florida Law Prompts Homeless Shelters to Ready for Higher Demand, What's New Here

Nonetheless, Swift stated that things can get worse because of a new Florida law that takes effect in October.

Anyone sleeping overnight in public areas, such as parks, is forbidden by the new regulation.


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Supporters of the measure, including state leaders, claim it will help individuals in need get connected to organizations and shelters; however, Swift expressed concern that this could lead to further problems.

Space is the problem at hand. Every writer in the refuge is fully occupied. For practically all of them, there is a waiting list,” Swift informed.

The rule might be harmful to those who are already enrolled in temporary housing programs, he claimed, as there are now only a limited number of beds in Pinellas County designated for homeless individuals.

People have a difficult time finding housing, so we need refuge while they’re looking. To help folks with their housing issues, we need someplace for them to be,” Pinellas Hope’s Joe Pondolfino stated.

Now that they gather once a month, housing organizations are brainstorming preparation ideas.

“We are having task force meetings regularly with stakeholders from across the spectrum law-enforcement to county commissioners,” stated Swift.

“We are merely waiting for what we require. Pondolfino remarked, “You know that going forward, there will be an even greater need for us.”

The discussions, according to Swift, are intended to secure financing for programs and increase the number of beds available.

In order to better serve individuals in need, Pondolfino’s organization has already added 25 tents.

We introduced Jimmy Klass to you last month; after 64 years of residency in the country, he discovered he was not a citizen. As she continues to follow his story, ABC Action News reporter Katie LaGrone is also telling the tale of another Floridian who, after 60 years in the country, discovered she was not a citizen.

Another Floridian finds out after over 60 years that she is not a legitimate citizen.

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