Homeless have fewer options on where to go, with lack of shelters, bans

In Apopka, Tiffany Miller has found temporary shelter in a tent along State Road 436, facing eviction due to being on private property. 

Seminole County sheriff's deputies enforced her latest eviction notice on Tuesday, prompting her to seek alternatives with nowhere to go.

The tightening restrictions on where homeless people can sleep have become more prevalent in Central Florida over the past year, with Deland in Volusia County recently joining the list.

"Don't know where you can and can't go," said Miller. "A lot are new. f you don't know and turn around and get in trouble."


Several cities and counties, including Brevard, Miami-Dade, and West Palm Beach, have implemented similar ordinances. Moreover, a statewide ban on public sleeping may be introduced if a bill clears Tallahassee.

Bryan Hampton of the Christian Service Center expresses concerns about the proposed statewide ban, emphasizing the need for alternative solutions, particularly affordable housing. 

"There's some places up north where the tent encampments are just growing and growing and growing," he said. "And so the fear is that would happen down here. 

Advocates stress the insufficient facilities available for the homeless in Central Florida, raising the possibility of individuals moving from one sidewalk or city to another.

David Schorejs, a pastor at the First Baptist Church of Apopka, acknowledges the anticipation of such challenges arising from recent ordinances affecting the homeless population.

Community members in Apopka are set to meet next week to discuss opening a homeless resources center in the community. The next steps would include looking into what type of shelter would best serve the community.