City of Jacksonville Beach coming up with ways to address homelessness

Jacksonville Beach city leaders are trying to come up with ways to drive out homeless people.

In a recent city council meeting, councilmember Keith Doherty said the homeless population is an issue.

In the meeting notes, he said Gonzales Park has become a popular hangout spot for transients.

Action News Jax went to the park and found several homeless people sitting on benches and taking shelter from the rain.

Doherty suggested in the meeting removing the benches and shelters in hopes it would alleviate the homeless from sleeping on them.

He also suggested moving the City’s Veterans Memorial to the park to attract more activity and keep the homeless away.

Sharon Hurley is homeless and said it’s a Band-Aid solution.

“They are just going to go on to someplace else,” Hurley said.

She said a growing number of homeless people are coming from downtown to the beaches. She said the city needs to assign an area where the homeless can congregate.

Right now, there are just under 1,700 homeless people in Duval County, according to the Changing Homelessness Northeast Florida 2018 point-in-time count.

That number is down 27 percent since 2009.

The Jacksonville Beach council member wants to curb homeless people from sleeping at Gonzales Park by removing benches and the shelter areas:

Posted by Action News Jax on Monday, November 12, 2018