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Sarasota County Commission Chairman Charles Hines has been hearing quite a bit from some downtown business owners in regard to one topic — homelessness. For example, one business owner told Hines about a homeless person who had been sleeping behind the person's shop. Several days after the owner informed the homeless person he could not do that on the property, the owner discovered the business had been vandalized — an apparent act of retaliation, Hines related to The Sarasota News Leader this week. That situation reflects the scope of the prob- lems associated with the homeless population in downtown Sarasota and throughout the county. For Hines, it underscores the need for a shelter in the city, he told the News Leader on Tuesday, May 6. "We need to move forward," he said, referring to the Homelessness consultant Robert Marbut has said the city-owned site at 1330 N. Osprey Ave. is the best of those he reviewed as potential shelter locations. Photo by Norman Schimmel REAFFIRMING SHELTER SUPPORT THE COUNTY COMMISSION CHAIRMAN WANTS TO KEEP MOVING FORWARD ON THE HOMELESS SHELTER PROJECT, BUT CHALLENGES REMAIN AS COUNTY STAFFERS CONTINUE DUE DILIGENCE ON TWO SITES We're not just making this decision willy-nilly. Charles Hines Chairman Sarasota County Commission By Roger Drouin County Editor

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