St. Pete plans crackdown on the homelessBy month's end, St. Petersburg will begin enforcing a ordinance that bans sleeping or reclining on public sidewalks, and will take violators to jail or to Pinellas Safe Harbor.
Mayor Bill Foster said he has seen fewer homeless people downtown after he announced the crackdown.
Stricter enforcement is part of a broader tactical approach that Robert Marbut, a city consultant, calls "the velvet hammer." The premise is that until some of the homeless are forced by ordinance to leave city streets and parks for the confines of a shelter, they won't. Until some of the groups and agencies that organize public feedings are forced to stop, they won't. Absent tougher enforcement, the homeless population will persist.
Read the St. Petersburg Times report here.