Sarasota News Leader

05/10/2013

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Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 THE MILLION-DOLLAR RUMOR During the "open to the public" period Monday afternoon, the city commissioners appeared surprised to hear of a $2 million donation to help the homeless. Vallerie Guillory, executive director of Trinity Without Borders, said the owner of 1003 N. Washington Blvd. was offering the property as the site of a tent city for the homeless. Page 22 In other words, it is a treeless concrete hardstand often bathed in the "perfume" of a sewer treatment plant. And it would necessitate city approval of a "major conditional use" to switch from auto repair shop to tent city. Considering the attendant staff review and public hearings, making a homeless encampment legal there would require months of red-tape satisfaction. But Guillory was not deterred. "With the generous donation of land and $2 million, we are ready to assist homeless housing," she told the commissioners. "We need your help to know whether we have an invitation to assist with the problem." The parcel is immediately north and east of the railroad tracks north of 10th Street. It was formerly the location of an auto repair shop, with a wide swath of property to the rear looking west. Devoid of trees and covered with a concrete slab, it is about 400 feet due south of "That $2 million is pledged to us," said Robin the southeast corner of the city's sewer plant Cousino. "We need your help. We need a safe on 12th Street. place to be." Homeless people sit on the sidewalk adjacent to Five Points Park in downtown Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel

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