A new national report found a general trend toward criminalizing the homeless, and criticized the laws of some areas in Florida. The report, published by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, looked at how municipalities treat the homeless.
It found more and more cities have banned activities like sleeping on sidewalks, sitting in public spaces or storing personal possessions outside.
Update: The Fort Lauderdale City Commission unanimously passed both ordinances on first reading. The second reading will most likely be scheduled for the next commission meeting on May, 6.
How does a city strike a balance between the needs of the homeless and the needs of those around them? Those questions will be put to the Fort Lauderdale City Commission as they consider two provisions on the agenda at Tuesday’s commission meeting.
Protecting the rights of Miami's Homeless since 1998, Federal Judge Federico Moreno has approved changes to the Pottinger settlement. The revisions were reached through mediation between the city of Miami and the ACLU.
Moreno commented before giving his final ruling that this was a different type of class-action suit because it was not about money. Instead, the question at stake is "how do we help people also also help the community grow," he said.
Behind closed doors on Wednesday, the Miami City Commission approved major changes to the Pottinger settlement.
The historic court agreement has protected the rights of Miami’s homeless since it first went into effect in 1998. The original Pottinger agreement protected what’s called "life sustaining activities" like sleeping on the street, lighting fires for cooking and urinating in public — all without being arrested.