Closure of Fort Lauderdale camp sends homeless people into other neighborhoods

Since the downtown homeless camp was dismantled three months ago, groups of homeless have pitched tents or begun congregating in other parts of the city, officials said.

A tent city outside the Broward Main Library was dismantled at the end of November, and about 85 people living there were moved into hotels, and then apartments. But the encampment, a social and feeding hub, attracted more people than those living in tents, and its disappearance dispersed scores of homeless people to neighborhoods that hadn’t seen them before.

In Fort Lauderdale, home base for many of the county’s 2,000-plus homeless, a camp popped up at an abandoned Orchard Supply Hardware store on North Federal Highway, and at a Chick-Fil-A, said City Commissioner Heather Moraitis, who represents the northern part of the city. Residents along the condo-lined Galt Ocean Mile also complain about homeless people there, she said.

Commissioner Robert McKinzie, who represents northwest Fort Lauderdale, said he’s noticed homeless people migrating there, too.

Under a new, more compassionate approach to homelessness, Fort Lauderdale and Broward County officials are making an effort not to arrest homeless people for crimes directly related to their homelessness — trespassing, or loitering, for example, she said. With financial help from nonprofits and businesses, the county is helping homeless people get housing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.