Tuesday, June 14, 2011

St. Pete plans crackdown on the homeless

By 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.


At 11:55 AM, Blogger Abe said...

Thanks for blogging about this, as it helps me see that the troubles we face in Canada are faced elsewhere (see http://www.abeoudshoorn.com/blog/?p=254). It's great to feel that you are not alone in finding ways to make cities more humane for people in absolute poverty.


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