Home » Florida governor signs law preventing homeless individuals from sleeping in public spaces

Florida governor signs law preventing homeless individuals from sleeping in public spaces

by Derek Andrews
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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a brand new bill into legislation on Wednesday that prohibits homeless people from sleeping in public areas, reminiscent of sidewalks and parks. The invoice, HB 1365, is ready to take impact on October 1. DeSantis claimed the invoice goals to handle public security and high quality of life by making certain homeless people in Florida have entry to designated tenting areas that provide companies for substance abuse and psychological well being points. Critics of the brand new legislation declare it fails to handle the basis causes of homelessness.

The Florida Division of Kids and Households will oversee the implementation of designated areas for homeless people, which governments will set up when homeless shelters attain full capability. DeSantis claims these areas will present important companies, together with sanitation and safety whereas prohibiting the usage of alcohol and unlawful medicine. Below the brand new legislation, designated tenting websites should “not [be] contiguous to property designated for residential” residing and should “not adversely and materially have an effect on the property worth or security and safety of different present residential or industrial property … and wouldn’t negatively have an effect on the protection of kids.”

DeSantis said of the invoice’s passage into legislation:

Cities across the nation which have develop into overrun with homeless encampments have seen crime go up and quality-of-life go down. [Florida] has seen a decline within the homeless inhabitants between 2019-22 however we have to be sure that the streets, sidewalks and parks of our cities are totally off-limits for tenting. This invoice accomplishes this and can assist maintain our communities secure.

DeSantis additionally added, “It’s flawed to permit tent cities to be arrange on public sidewalks and parks. Because of this laws, it would now be unlawful for native governments to [enact]…insurance policies that undermine public security and quality-of-life for his or her residents.”

Criticism has emerged towards the legislation from activists working to supply support and assist to Florida’s homeless inhabitants. Diana Stanley, CEO of The Lord’s Place in West Palm Seaside, wrote in an editorial to The Palm Seaside Publish, “The invoice, HB 1365, primarily orders cities and counties to grab the homeless off metropolis sidewalks, streets and park benches — of questionable legality at greatest — with out offering further sources to assist with social companies or housing, the true want.” The critics additionally argue that the legislation could exacerbate the state of affairs for the more than 30,000 homeless individuals residing in Florida by doubtlessly infringing upon their rights and burdening municipalities with the price of authorized challenges.

These against the legislation counsel that the governor’s efforts could be higher spent funding housing, psychological well being care and habit remedy to raised deal with a number of the root causes of homelessness.

In January, the US Supreme Court docket agreed to listen to a case, City of Grants Pass, Oregon v. Johnson, which challenged the legality of ordinances that ban or closely regulate homeless encampments on public land. It questions if such bans represent “merciless and weird punishment” underneath the US Structure’s Eighth Amendment. The case is especially related as cities, together with Los Angeles, have begun to crackdown on homeless encampments on public land.

Source / Picture: jurist.org

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