LAKELAND, Fla. - The Lakeland City Commission unanimously passed an anti-camping ordinance on Tuesday aimed at cracking down on homeless camping in the city.
The law makes it illegal to engage in activities associated with camping without specific permission from the property owner.
Lakeland has nearly 700 homeless people, according to police, and many of those living in homeless camps have been committing crimes ranging from prostitution to robbery.
Mayor Gow Fields said, "It is not our intent to round people up and put them in jail ... but we have got to do something about the issue."
Henry Booker has been homeless for a a year and a half . He lost his home when he lost a $43,000 job. "A lot of us lost their job and can't find work. and boy have I tried," Booker said.
The maximum penalty for illegal camping in Lakeland is six months in jail.
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