Daytona Beach, FL- The Daytona Beach City Commission considered solutions to house the homeless during a meeting Wednesday night and, in the end, said “no” to the idea of a temporary shelter near Beach Street. Commissioners also got an earful from city residents who live near the site. The building that was under consideration is the former Armed Forces Reserve Center on Basin Street that is city-owned and empty.
The location did not go over well with many in the audience including people who live on their boats at the nearby marina and Beach Street business owners.
Mary Ann Sweeney, who lives on a boat at Halifax Marina, told commissioners that she had met people from all over the world at the marina. She told commissioners that they were going to have boaters sailing past a homeless shelter to dock their boats and said, “they won’t come back”. Another resident of the marina, Lisa Davis, told commissioners she feared for her safety if the shelter was located at the Basin Street building. Davis said, “I’m a whopping 105 pounds soaking wet”.
A long-term plan under consideration would put a shelter on city-owned land off US 92 and Red John Drive.
The Salvation Army on Ballough Road will be closing its shelter beds on Tuesday, July 26. Commissioners directed the city manager to work on other possible locations for a temporary shelter while a long term plan is worked out.
Mayor Derrick Henry said the city may have to call an emergency meeting to deal with the immediate problem.
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