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Florida Senate Considers Bill to Restrict Homeless People from Sleeping and Camping in Public!


CNS NewsThe Florida Senate is set to deliberate on a contentious bill that would prohibit people without homes from sleeping or camping in public areas. The bill, which passed the House on Friday, aims to address homelessness by imposing restrictions on where individuals can sleep or camp within the state.

Sponsored by Representative Sam Garrison of Fleming Island, the bill seeks to make sleeping on public property, including in front of buildings or rights of way, illegal. Proponents argue that such measures are necessary to address homelessness statewide and improve public safety.

However, critics, including Dawn Gilman, CEO of Jacksonville organization Changing Homelessness, argue that the bill fails to address the root causes of homelessness. Gilman emphasizes the importance of providing housing as a solution to homelessness, stating that simply displacing individuals from public spaces does not address the underlying issues.

Under the proposed law, local governments can designate certain properties for sleeping or camping if they meet specific criteria outlined by the Florida Department of Children and Families. These designated sites must provide access to restrooms, running water, and security, and remain alcohol and drug-free. However, they can only be used for a year and cannot negatively impact nearby property values.

Florida Senate Considers Bill to Restrict Homeless People from Sleeping and Camping in Public!

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The bill has elicited mixed reactions, with some homeless individuals expressing frustration at the lack of alternative solutions. Critics argue that the legislation fails to address systemic issues contributing to homelessness and could exacerbate the problem by criminalizing individuals for their economic circumstances.

If approved by the Senate, the bill will proceed to Governor DeSantis’ desk for consideration. With Florida’s legislative session ending on March 8th, the outcome of the bill remains uncertain as stakeholders continue to debate its implications for homeless individuals and communities statewide.

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