What has happened at Jacksonville homeless camp since the city stepped in to help?

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It’s been a week since the city began its move to get people out of a homeless camp in downtown Jacksonville and into hotels.

The city announced that nearly 50 people would be moved and others would get help and put on a waiting list.

On Friday, News4Jax went back to the site along Jefferson and Beaver streets downtown to see what has changed and how the move is progressing.

The tents still line the vacant lot along Jefferson street. The city along with several homeless agencies in Jacksonville began moving some of the people last weekend. Others like Diane Simons who is still living at the site said Friday she is still hoping to get help.

“They said they were going to come back after the first day they moved out 43 to 50 people and then they just left and said they were going to be back tomorrow,” Simons said.

City advocates say they have been addressing the problem but when word got out that hotel rooms were being offered the site grew with more people looking for help.

Roma Smith says he arrived this week and likes what he sees.

“I’m feeling pretty good out here. I mean it’s quite peaceful, everybody’s getting along. They got food for these people out here. I appreciate what the mayor is doing for it,” Smith said.

Leon Riggins says he is working with a church to help those still at the site.

“We think that the mayor needs to do more. I don’t take anything away from Mr. Curry. I really respect him as a politician,” Riggins said.

Some people have been dropping off household donations to people at the camp.

The city has urged that people contact homeless agencies like the Sulzbacher Center to find out what is really needed and how they can help.

Earlier this week the city did say it’s working on other methods to help those who are not able to get into hotel rooms.

So far, the city says 48 people have been moved to hotels. They have not located five others who were on the list to move.

News4Jax is still working to find out how many are on the waiting list. The city says this process will be repeated as more resources are made available to the community partners implementing the program.


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