Sarasota News Leader

07/25/2014

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It was a pleasant morning to be downtown Tuesday, July 22. There was an open-air press conference conducted by the Sarasota police chief in Five Points Park, a site shunned not so long ago as a veritable tea room of homeless- ness. New sod lay behind orange construction mesh, the setting was shady and, thanks to the heavy police presence, not a homeless person was in sight. It was quite a contrast to the situation a cou- ple of years ago when City Commissioner S u z a n n e A t w e l l walked through the park and then told a television crew she did not feel safe with all the homeless people around. Her comments touched a nerve in the community, setting off a cascade of events. A new city manager arrived in town, and he pledged to address the homelessness prob- lems with a task force. That group's work was promptly halted by Florida's Sunshine Laws. Later, after Atwell a n d f e l l o w C i t y Commissioner Susan Chapman listened to Sarasota Police Department Officer Dubendorff, Sgt. Lori Jaress and the new homeless caseworker, Calvin Collins, brief the City Commission on July 21. They are members of the Homeless Outreach Team. Photo by Stan Zimmerman WAITING FOR WINTER ANALYSIS: CITY, COUNTY COMMISSIONS PART WAYS ON COME-AS- YOU-ARE HOMELESS SHELTER PROPOSAL At some point we cannot take responsibility for those who will not accept help. Maj. Ethan Frizzell The Salvation Army Sarasota By Stan Zimmerman City Editor

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