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County Park Could Become Tent City for Local Homeless | Mims, Florida | Florida Today

An isolated county park in Mims could become the future site of a “tent city” to house some of Brevard County’s homeless population.

Brevard County Commission Chairman Robin Fisher and advocates for the homeless are pushing a plan to convert a section of Hatbill Park in Mims into a tent city for people without a permanent place to live, in a plan modeled after a site in Pinellas County.

The renewed push to find a legal alternative to homeless people illegally camping on private property was triggered by a recent Titusville Police Department initiative to clear out homeless camps in the city in advance of the last shuttle launch.

George Taylor Sr., an advocate for homeless veterans, has criticized police officials for how they handled the detail, including how he said they discarded items found at the camps, such as clothing, supplies and various personal mementos. Police defended the action, saying they gave residents of the camps repeated notice that they had to leave the camps, gave them a list of some community resources, and informed them of when their deadline was.

Fisher, whose district is in North Brevard, says there are no easy solutions, but he is looking for options.

There are thousands of people in Brevard County who are homeless. The latest organized countywide census of homeless people, taken Jan. 27, found that 1,889 people in Brevard were sleeping in a place not meant for human habitation or in an emergency shelter, including 450 children. An additional 839 people fell into an expanded Florida Statues definition of homelessness because they were living in a motel, camping ground, travel trailer park or someone else’s residence because of economic hardship or loss of their previous housing.

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via Florida Today