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City of Daytona Addresses Different Options For Helping Area’s Homeless

By on February 7, 2018 in WNDB News

Daytona Beach, FL – With the design of Daytona Beach’s First Step Homeless Shelter underway, the Daytona Beach City Commission addressed questions and concerns about what to do about “safe zones” for the City’s homeless.

One issue the Commission talked about during its Wednesday night meeting was whether or not the City’s current “safe zone,” a temporary refuge for the homeless near the intersection of Clyde Morris Blvd. and Bellevue Ave., should be moved or whether the City even needs a “safe zone” once the First Step Shelter is built.  A “safe zone” does not provide beds or other amenities that shelters do.

The 100-bed, 24-hour, full-service First Step Shelter was approved for construction by the City last summer for the area off of International Speedway and Red John Rd., west of I-95. It is currently about 25% of the way through the design process.

Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry said a proposal was brought to the First Step Shelter Board asking the board to fund a “safe zone” at the Salvation Army on LPGA. The measure was denied by the board. Henry said it is more important for the board and the City to focus energy on the shelter so that the shelter can gain momentum.

“My feeling is, if we start supporting and siphoning off money here and there, (the shelter) is going to lose momentum, and it will not be able to succeed,” explained Henry.

Commissioner Aaron Delgado suggested that, if the City chooses to keep a “safe zone,” it should be relocated closer to the shelter, but he said that any money for the zone should be completely separate from money for the shelter. “A lot of money that was raised was raised with a specific intention,” said Delgado. “I think we should honor that intention.”

Commissioner Rob Gilliland said he feels that First Shelter will be one of the most effective options to prevent those who just became homeless from becoming chronically homeless. “If you can prevent those people from becoming chronic homeless, then you will eventually come close to eradicating homelessness in your community,” explained Gilliland.

Copyright Southern Stone Communications 2018.

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