homelessness

C.M. Guerrero

Past the barricades, mounds of personal belongings mixed with trash and dirty mattresses where vagrants lay with needles still clutched by limp hands, Shatara Mackey walks with her 7-year-old son to Phillis Wheatley Elementary.

Northwest Second Avenue under the Dolphin/SR 836 overpass is a better route than the next block over, she says.

“It’s just got worse,” said Mackey, 31. “You can see them using and everything down there.”

Andrew Quintana / WLRN

Residents of tent city, the most recognizable homeless encampment in Ft. Lauderdale, stood in line outside of the Broward Public Library Monday to receive free haircuts.  

Eight local barbers set up shop on the sidewalk. They splayed the tools of their trade on folding tables as generators powered their clippers. One by one, they trimmed, cut, and shaved the heads of nearly 40 homeless individuals, always asking their clients' names and what brought them to their chair.

Home Depot
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

If you’ve driven along W. Sunrise Blvd in Fort Lauderdale over the past decade, near the Broward Blvd. intersection, you’ve likely seen Popeye. 

He often braved traffic in his wheelchair to panhandle for money and would approach people to strike up a conversation. His real name was Ronald Frederick Gray. 

Gray was killed in a hit-and-run crash in the early hours of Wednesday morning, at the corner of NW. 5th Ave. The Broward County Office of the Medical Examiner identified him.

Fort Lauderdale Forum
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

In recent years, the City of Fort Lauderdale has faced heavy criticism for its treatment of homelessness, including of a long-running legal dispute it's had with groups distributing free food in public spaces.

Pedro Portal / Miami Herald

Monday marked the first day of a three day trial between the City of Miami and its homeless population.

The class action lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in May on behalf of the area's homeless after the City of Miami attempted to terminate a 20-year-old agreement that governs how police can treat the homeless. 

Scott Calls For Shifting Money To Homeless Programs

Jul 3, 2018

The Florida Department of Children and Families will seek approval from lawmakers to shift $3.1 million to help fill a gap in funding for homeless-prevention services, Gov. Rick Scott’s office said Monday. 

Stranahan Park Homeless Camp
Robin Martin / WLRN

Ten people who are homeless and have been suing the City of Fort Lauderdale  for the past year, have reached a settlement with the city.

In Fort Lauderdale City Hall,  city commissioners voted Tuesday night in favor of settling the lawsuit for a total of $82,020 dollars. 

That money is expected to be paid out to 10 of Fort Lauderdale’s homeless, which will be divided up between each of the plaintiffs, and attorney's fees and costs.

Ben Sorensen

Fort Lauderdale made national headlines last year when bulldozers cleared out a homeless encampment in Stranahan Park. Before that the city had become part of late night talk show fodder after authorities arrested then 90-year-old Arnold Abbott for feeding the homeless in areas not designated for that activity.

The flu descended on Connie Gabaldon like a fog, she recalled, clouding her mind and compromising her judgment. It progressed to chest and back pain, the aches perhaps made worse by a fall the 66-year-old had while riding the bus in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Gabaldon is homeless. When she went to the emergency room in late January, doctors told her she also had pneumonia, a sinus infection and the flu.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

The winter solstice, Dec. 21, is marked every year as Homeless Persons' Memorial Day. It's the longest night of the year.

Every year Key West holds a ceremony remembering those who died during the year. This year 71 names were read.

They ranged in age from infants to 95.

But only nine of them were homeless. The rest were people still listed on the county forms as "paupers" - those whose remains went unclaimed. So the county takes responsibility for cremation and their remains are placed in the crypt owned by the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition.

Nan Rich at a podium
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

In 2016 alone, The Broward County Housing Council counted more than 2,300 homeless people living inside county lines. 

So, the civic and business group Tower Forum, in Fort Lauderdale, hosted a panel for local business people to get a glimpse into what’s being done at the county level to solve homelessness, especially in Downtown Fort Lauderdale. 

Robin Martin / WLRN

On May 19, Fort Lauderdale police officers and city workers showed up without notice at Stranahan Park with dozens of blue trash bins, a front-end loader and a dump truck. They ordered all the homeless living there to put their stuff in the bins; the rest of the stuff was scooped up by the loader and thrown in the dump truck.

HOPE South Florida

Starting Monday, the more than two thousand homeless people in Broward County will have access to free showers thanks to HOPE, a non-profit based organization.  

Everyone expects Congress to change the Affordable Care Act, but no one knows exactly how.

The uncertainty has one group of people, the homeless, especially concerned. Many received health coverage for the first time under Obamacare; now they're worried it will disappear.

Joseph Funn, homeless for almost 20 years, says his body took a beating while he lived on the street.

Now, he sees nurse practitioner Amber Richert fairly regularly at the Health Care for the Homeless clinic in Baltimore.

Kate Stein / WLRN

The key to avoiding Zika is avoiding contact with the mosquitoes that carry Zika. The official advice is to wear bug repellent, avoid affected areas, and stay indoors. But for people who spend extended periods of time on Wynwood's streets, following that advice is difficult.

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