Land offered to Sarasota for Homeless Camp - WFLA News Channel 8

Land offered to Sarasota for Homeless Camp

Posted: Updated:
SARASOTA COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Sarasota officials say the concentration of homeless people in their city far surpasses the national average.

Now one charity group is offering a solution.  It's proposing a homeless camp on a plot of land just off Washington boulevard.  But city officials say it's a suggestion that's easier said than done.

Just off Washington Boulevard lies a plot of land near a cemetery.  It was donated to the charity group, ‘Trinity without Borders' for use as a homeless camp.

Donors are giving nearly $2 million towards the project.  But the Sarasota city manager says there's one big obstacle to this idea- this land here is zoned for commercial use, meaning a tent city is not allowed. And the process to change that code could take some time

"Those procedures take almost a year to complete," said city manager Tom Barwin.  Trinity without Borders has a team of lawyers who are working to change the zoning for that plot of land.

Barwin says a lot of work would have to be done before setting up a camp- like setting up water and sanitation. He says the city is exploring solutions to help the homeless, but it's a two-way street.

Barwin said, "People have got to bring themselves to a point where they are going to make a personal transition from a street lifestyle that involves alcohol and substance abuse to one that requires an individual returning to personal health."

City commissioner Willie Shaw says the city is looking at other communities for ideas- like Pinellas Hope, a successful homeless camp run by Catholic Charities.

"None of those cities got to where they are overnight. There was an issue, there was a problem and they took time and effort to address it," said Shaw.

Sarasota officials won't say if a homeless camp is a good solution, but they're taking their time to find the right answer.

"We cant just wave a magic wand and it disappears. There has to be some thought put into it," said Shaw.

Barwin says in the meantime, the Salvation Army can accommodate 250 people. It's free for up to 10 days, and then its $10 per day. But Barwin says that fee can be waived if the tenants are involved in substance abuse programs.

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Are background checks enough for Florida teachers?

    Are background checks enough for Florida teachers?

    Friday, April 18 2014 7:41 PM EDT2014-04-18 23:41:35 GMT

    In an effort to weed out potential perverts, Florida law requires fingerprinting and criminal background checks before school districts hire employees that will have any contact with children.

    In an effort to weed out potential perverts, Florida law requires fingerprinting and criminal background checks before school districts hire employees that will have any contact with children.


  • Pasco mix-up sends registration notices to wrong drivers

    Pasco mix-up sends registration notices to wrong drivers

    Friday, April 18 2014 6:02 PM EDT2014-04-18 22:02:51 GMT
    The vehicle registration information of hundreds of drivers in Pasco County were sent to the wrong person in a mix-up that led to the firing of a contractor.
    The vehicle registration information of hundreds of drivers in Pasco County were sent to the wrong person in a mix-up that led to the firing of a contractor.
  • Flushable wipes, not so flushable says Tampa's wastewater officials

    Flushable wipes, not so flushable says Tampa's wastewater officials

    Friday, April 18 2014 3:52 PM EDT2014-04-18 19:52:20 GMT
    Personal wipes, baby wipes, face wipes, flushable wipes. They are all designed to help us deal with delicate issues. But the wipes themselves are actually pretty sturdy and increasingly local water systems are finding they are creating costly problems.
    Personal wipes, baby wipes, face wipes, flushable wipes. They are all designed to help us deal with delicate issues. But the wipes themselves are actually pretty sturdy and increasingly local water systems are finding they are creating costly problems.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Divers pull bodies from sunken ferry; toll tops 50

    Divers pull bodies from sunken ferry; toll tops 50

    Sunday, April 20 2014 3:22 AM EDT2014-04-20 07:22:24 GMT
    The confirmed death toll from South Korea's ferry disaster rose past 50 on Sunday as divers finally found a way inside the sunken vessel, quickly discovering more than a dozen bodies in what almost certainly is...
    The confirmed death toll from South Korea's ferry disaster rose past 50 on Sunday as divers finally found a way inside the sunken vessel, quickly discovering more than a dozen bodies in what almost certainly is just...
  • Truck flips into Keystone Road pond, one injured

    Truck flips into Keystone Road pond, one injured

    Sunday, April 20 2014 1:15 AM EDT2014-04-20 05:15:13 GMT
    A man was injuredSaturday night when he lost control ofa pickup truck and ended up in a pond on Keystone Road.Thedriver of a Ford F-150 pickuptruck was traveling west on Keystone Roadshortly after 7:30 p.m. when he lost control of the vehicle in a bend in the road, the Florida HighwayPatrol said.Thetruckspun out, went airborne and flipped twice before itcame to rest partially submerged in the pond.Pinellas County firefighters had to cut awaytheroof of the truck to freethe driver, who wasalone...
    A man was injuredSaturday night when he lost control ofa pickup truck and ended up in a pond on Keystone Road.Thedriver of a Ford F-150 pickuptruck was traveling west on Keystone Roadshortly after 7:30 p.m. when he lost control of the vehicle in a bend in the road, the Florida HighwayPatrol said.Thetruckspun out, went airborne and flipped twice before itcame to rest partially submerged in the pond.Pinellas County firefighters had to cut awaytheroof of the truck to freethe driver, who wasalone...
  • 13th body pulled from snow in Everest avalanche

    13th body pulled from snow in Everest avalanche

    Sunday, April 20 2014 1:02 AM EDT2014-04-20 05:02:13 GMT
    Rescuers were digging through piles of snow and ice Saturday for four Sherpa guides buried on Mount Everest when an avalanche swept down the slopes and killed 12 other Nepalese guides in the deadliest disaster on...
    Nepal's authorities temporarily halted climbing on Mount Everest while search teams dug through snow and ice Sunday for three Sherpa guides missing in the deadliest avalanche on the world's highest peak that killed...
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Arcadia dog set on fire improving, could be released early

    Arcadia dog set on fire improving, could be released early

    Tuesday, April 1 2014 11:26 PM EDT2014-04-02 03:26:55 GMT
    "Hope" was doused with kerosene and set on fire. BluePearl Veterinary photo"Hope" was doused with kerosene and set on fire. BluePearl Veterinary photo
    A 1-year-old DeSoto County dog that was set on fire is improving and could be released from 24-hour care to a primary care veterinarian next week.
    A 1-year-old DeSoto County dog that was set on fire is improving and could be released from 24-hour care to a primary care veterinarian next week.
  • Restaurant Ratings: Most Violations April 7-13

    Restaurant Ratings: Most Violations April 7-13

    Saturday, April 19 2014 6:47 AM EDT2014-04-19 10:47:28 GMT
    We’ve gathered details about the Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from April 7 to 13, 2014.
    We’ve gathered details about the Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from April 7 to 13, 2014.
  • Gainesville authorities investigate arrest of UF football player

    Gainesville authorities investigate arrest of UF football player

    Saturday, April 19 2014 11:55 AM EDT2014-04-19 15:55:51 GMT
    Authorities in Gainesville say Purifoy was arrested last month on drug-related charges. Authorities in Gainesville say Purifoy was arrested last month on drug-related charges.
    The Gainesville Police Department has launched an internal investigation into the quashing of an arrest warrant for a former University of Florida football star and current NFL draft prospect.The Gainesville Sun reports that Loucheiz Purifoy was allegedly caught by the Alachua County Sheriff's Office last month in possession of both marijuana and bath salts.
    The Gainesville Police Department has launched an internal investigation into the quashing of an arrest warrant for a former University of Florida football star and current NFL draft prospect.The Gainesville Sun reports that Loucheiz Purifoy was allegedly caught by the Alachua County Sheriff's Office last month in possession of both marijuana and bath salts.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.