DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Residents of Volusia County asking the Daytona Beach City Council to think about a permanent solution to housing the homeless. This, after the CEO Business Alliance gave the city a $100,000 check, to help the homeless initiative.
Resident after resident thanking CEO Business Alliance for coming forward with a 6-figure donation to help the homeless, but also acknowledge more work needs to be done. "Make sure that there are measurable outcomes. Don't build a shelter. Ask, 'How many people is this going to get out of homelessness?'" said one man who attended Wednesday night's meeting. "Don't give it to somebody else to feed people, don't give it to people to house somebody overnight and then kick them out on the street. Get people out of homelessness."
Volusia County has committed $4 million to build Safe Harbor, a 250-bed facility to temporarily house the homeless. Daytona Beach Police Chief Mike Chitwood agrees with locals, saying Safe Harbor isn't a permanent fix, but he adds the problem is complex and requires a leader with a plan to help each individual case of homelessness.
"Then you have folks who have substance abuse, mental illness, then you have the criminal element, and it's a Rubik,s Cube. What you need is a leader who identifies the problem, and the leader has to say, 'Here is the solution, follow me,'" says Chief Chitwood.
Mike Cornell, program coordinator with the Salvation Army, says he has housed over 200 veterans and has the plan to make every homeless person in his care, self sufficient, but says it can't begin by temporary means.
"When I came onboard and designed the veterans program, I did the final plan, like where are we trying to get these people to? And then you design to do that, and that's what you should look at...None of these folks have actually done it in programs and hopefully, they'll do that and look at that."