St Pete govt. discuss homeless by Mitch E. Perry03/15/07
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
The St. Petersburg City Council is poised to begin debating tonight on a proposal that would ban all Tent Cities on public right of ways. The proposal would also prevent sleeping on a right away adjacent to a residential area – and also that a person could be arrested if they refuse housing. The St. Petersburg Times reported today that city officials began yesterday persuading those living at the 18th Street Tent City to move on that property…..As of early this afternoon, of about 60 tents that were present in recent days , only 13 remained. Many of those people have now moved into a City owned vacant lot, around the corner from St. Vincent DePaul’s., the site of the original Tent City back in January. People will be allowed to stay there for 90 days. There is another proposed spot where the homeless could go…That’s at the Lakewood United Church of Christ , which is located at 54th Avenue south. That will house 30 tents within the next couple of days. The City also now wants to move St. Petersburg members of the homeless to a 150 bed shelter in Largo, which has led to criticism from homeless advocates. Such as Eric Rubin (roll tape#1 o.q.”and just not right”) The Times reported this morning quoted one of the most sympathetic City Council members to the homeless, Jamie Bennett, as making critical remarks of homeless advocates like the Reverend Bruce Wright and Eric Rubin. Bennett said,”They’re going to keep fighting us…They’re going to pick up their band of merry men and going to go somewhere else. This has to stop”. In response, Eric Rubin says it’s a matter of math. He says that there simply isn’t enough spaces available (roll tape#1 o.q.”his political tirade”) And again, that discussion on the proposed ordinance is going on at the St. Petersburg City Council right now.