Battle over homeless accommodations in Daytona Beach
DAYTONA BEACH. Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - It was a packed house at Wednesday’s Daytona City Commission meeting, as the clock ticks on temporary housing for the homeless at two motels, which have only been funded for 11 days. The commission voted to find housing for the homeless and transition them once their 11 day motel stay is over, saying the city can't afford an extension.
“I do thank you for the shelter and food you’ve provided me but I fear it's all for nothing because I’m lost here in your city,” said a speaker during public comment.
The city has spent $25,000 to house 70 of the homeless at the Royal Inn and Host Inn on Ridgewood Avenue, but only for 11 days, providing two meals a day.
“Do you know that some of the populace to be thrown out are elderly on oxygen and in wheel chairs? Yes, I’m speaking of physically disabled human beings that are going be put on the street to fend for themselves, does that matter to any of you?” asked a speaker during public comment.
The situation came to a head earlier this week when the Salvation Army shut down their temporary housing program. During the meeting they reported to the council that even there’s still homeless on the street, the program was largely successful.
“Using the intestinal fortitude of these men and women experiencing homelessness to take care of their own lives, we were able to permanently house 127 individuals of the 356, ” said Mike Cornell with the Salvation Army.
Still residents and advocates for the homeless say a permanent solution is still necessary.
"We’re putting a Band-Aid on cancer with temporary relief, thank the Lord for temporary relief, but it’s not the real deal,” said a speaker during public comment.
City Manager Jim Chisholm also said during the meeting that the City of Daytona Beach has already spent half a million dollars on trying to solve the homeless issue. Mayor Derrick Henry said he’s still committed to building a homeless shelter.