Thursday, January 10, 2008

St. Petersburg targets the homeless again

For months, just a few feet from the steps of City Hall, a makeshift encampment has grown. Dozens of homeless people sleep along the sidewalk and store their belongings in sleeping bags, old suitcases and shopping carts.

They aren't breaking any laws, police say. But now city leaders want to change the laws to get rid of them.

Strict new ordinances would expand a ban on panhandling, give the city the power to seize private property from the homeless and forbid people from sleeping, lying down or even reclining on public rights of way in downtown St. Pete. (Click on the links to read the proposed ordinances.)

The City Council will discuss the proposals at meeting today.

Read the St. Petersburg Times report here.

Update: The City Council voted to crack down on panhandlers by creating additional zones around certain downtown tourist attractions where begging will be outlawed. Read the Tampa Tribune report here.


At 11:24 AM, Blogger Michaelann Bewsee said...

We have a new mayor in Springfield, MA-- Domenic Sarno. He's young, energetic, and maybe willing to listen. BUT, as a city councilor, Sarno suggested putting skunk-scented spray in abandoned buildings to keep homeless people from sleeping in them! We'll see what happens...

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