Monday, November 26, 2007

St. Pete fences out homeless rally

The location chosen by homeless advocates to highlight the plight of St. Petersburg's homeless is being fenced off.

"They think we're going to become invisible," said William "Grandpa" Shumate, 59, who lives in front of City Hall.

In preparation for Wednesday's Republican presidential debate at the Mahaffey Theater, the city is setting up a barricade and telling participants in a multi-day rally that they'll have to find another place.

But where? The other side of First Street South was considered, but some stretches of that sidewalk abut residential areas, making them off-limits according to city ordinances.

Beth Herendeen, marketing director for the city, wasn't too helpful, saying she couldn't specify where the advocates would be allowed to camp out. "Any place outside the secure perimeter where they would normally be allowed to do so," she said.

Read the St. Petersburg Times report here.


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