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Sarasota County bans homeless camps in hopes of moving them into shelters

Posted at 7:12 PM, Nov 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-16 19:12:55-05

Sarasota County Commissioners voted to ban homeless camps this week. The measure also allocated money to groups like the Salvation Army to provide more support for the homeless population.  

The ordinance would give warnings to homeless residents or they can be taken to a shelter. Officials said a jail stay would be used as a last resort.

“It's really a mechanism to get people into housing programs via a shelter,” said spokesperson Wayne Applebee.

Applebee said the plan is just the beginning of trying to find a solution to the county’s homeless problem. They are also working on affordable housing options.  

A recent study showed Sarasota County had about nine-hundred homeless people.  

Henry Rogers was once one of the county’s homeless residents. He was able to find housing through the Salvation Army. He believes giving more people access could help with the county’s homeless issue.

“It was just an unpleasant life out there, I hope people can get help,” said Rogers.

The new measure will be enforced starting in 2018.