Folks already battling homelessness will wrestle to search out someplace to go. This comes after the town of Fort Myers proclaims Centennial Park might be closed for a yr for renovations. However some native activists are attempting to assist these homeless folks discover a new place to remain.
Richard Villamanan calls one coated bench in Centennial Park his residence. “That is non permanent however nobody expects to stay outdoor full-time, eternally,” Villamanan mentioned.
Sunday is the final day he’ll be capable of take his heat meals again to his park bench. The town is shutting down Centennial till subsequent spring for renovations. Within the meantime, he and others who use the park for shelter might be pressured to discover a new place to remain.
“What they’ve executed is solely take the housing away from us with the promise of one thing new. We’ll see. Within the meantime, I’m out within the climate,” mentioned Villamanan.
Activists are calling for leaders in Fort Myers to offer ample providers for the individuals who referred to as Centennial Park residence. Additionally they hope that none of them will obtain citations.
“To assist folks versus criminalizing conduct that’s merely people who find themselves in a deprived state of affairs,” Ken Clairmont, one of many activists, mentioned.
The town is working with Lee County Well being and Human Companies and the Lee County Homeless Coalition to make sure there might be sheltering choices. They’re additionally making an attempt to attach those that stay within the park with Park providers whereas Centennial undergoes these renovations.
However Villamanan doesn’t consider it’s honest. “Completely simply thrown over the aspect. As a result of in the event that they had been critical about offering an alternate help, you’ll’ve executed it earlier than you shut the park not after,” he mentioned.
The town of Fort Myers additionally says that Fort Myers Police and Lee County Sheriff’s deputies are present process a homeless outreach workforce coaching.
Nonetheless, the demonstrators don’t consider that’s sufficient. “What’s upsetting to me is seeing folks being handled this manner within the wake of all the brand new improvement and the cash that’s coming into downtown,” Clairmont mentioned.
Activists say they are going to keep in a single day and for so long as they must, all to make sure that those that referred to as Centennial Park residence have a brand new and secure place to go.
WINK Information reached out to the Fort Myers Police Division about how officers will reply to Centennial Park closing and the homeless having nowhere to go. We’re nonetheless awaiting a response.