[Hpn] Homeless Campers Anger Residents
William Charles Tinker
Fri, 19 Aug 2005 20:47:44 -0400
Homeless Campers Spark Outrage
By Troy Kinsey/WCJB TV 20 News
Residents of Northeast Gainesville's Duckpond neighborhood are inflamed over
what they say has become a public nuisance: scores of homeless people
camping nightly on the Alachua County Housing Authority's front porch.
The office's headquarters is located in the D'Acosta House at 703 Northeast
First Street, in the center of a historical community. Residents have
complained of excessive noise and litter.
"They're supposed to help the homeless and get them in homes and everything,
but porches aren't homes, they're not safe places, they're not safe places
for the neighborhood," said Michelle Reeves, president of the Duckpond
Association. "They're coming into our porches, where we live, in the middle
of the night, at 1 a.m., they're stealing things off our porches."
No one at the Housing Authority could comment on the issue Thursday. The
complaints were brought to a head earlier this week when two neighbors
e-mailed the city commission with their complaints. The e-mails were
forwarded to the Gainesville Police Department.
"(Officers) have patrolled primarily from the city hall area up to the
Northeast Eighth Avenue area, and they have come across some people who are
sleeping and trespassing on private property, and they've dealt with those
situations as they've come up," said Gainesville Police Lt. T.D. Welch.
Neighbors are still calling for the Housing Authority to give police
permission to arrest the homeless campers for trespassing, something
directors haven't yet done.