No Bull, No Fluff, No Smudges
Your news source for
Flagler, Florida and Beyond

Facing Mounting Criticism, Flagler Scraps Exiling Palm Coast Homeless and Will Keep Them Near the Library

| March 6, 2019

There'll be no need. (© FlaglerLive)

There’ll be no need. (© FlaglerLive)

There was the Sheriff’s Operations Center. There was Captain’s BBQ at Bing’s Landing. There was the Plantation Bay utility. There was Craig Coffey, the former county administrator whose imprint was on the mishandling of all three shambles.

Now, with Coffey gone, there’s a new shamble as the county gave notice to exile the homeless off a makeshift camp on county land behind the county’s public library off Palm Coast Parkway. Not just exile them, but bus them–those willing, anyway–to an extremely isolated primitive county campsite at the far west end of Flagler. The new shamble risked spoiling up the days-old administration of Interim Administrator Jerry Cameron.

A county commissioner and a Palm Coast city commissioner were reacting unhappily about the plan, city officials were displeased with the way the county was making it seem as if the city was forcing the issue, the plan was drawing far more derision and disbelief than support from the community, not least because the county had not communicated its plan before implementing it, and it was getting lousy reactions from the homeless themselves, as an Observer article illustrated earlier this week. By this morning, residents in West Flagler were posting on Facebook that they were ready to take to the streets, protest and block roads to prevent the homeless from reaching the camp, called Russell Landing.

At 4 p.m. today, Cameron, in an interview with FlaglerLive, said the Russell Landing idea was scrapped. So was any plan to exile the homeless. Instead, they would be moved to a different section of the 18-acre site behind the public library while county crews cleaned up the garbage and the brush, then allowed to return there, with one new, crucial amenity: garbage bins and garbage service, which did not exist before, essentially forcing the homeless to pile up their trash.

“They are going to be happier this way,” Cameron said. “It’s a much better resolution for everybody.”

Cameron did his best to portray the entire progression of events this week as well planned: he credited his staff again and again for pulling off a difficult issue–“Heidi has done a fantastic job of managing this issue all the way through,” he said of Heidi Petito, the county’s facilities manager. And he placed some of the blame on media for “interjecting” themselves in the process before it was thought through, even though media only started reporting the issue when the county put up its “notice to vacate” at the homeless, following it up with a news release detailing how and why the homeless would be taken to Russell Landing.

“That was always during the planning process, we had to put the notices out according to our legal department, so we put them out while the planning process was still going on,” Cameron said.

He was saving face for the county and its staff after what was degrading into a significant embarrassment. Nevertheless, Cameron acted swiftly to halt the bleeding–and to take responsibility for the Russell Landing choice, saying he had picked it out from several other options as the most workable. He had done so, he said, during a round-table “brainstorming,” in the presence of sheriff’s staff, and staff from the county’s legal department, general services, social services and himself. Places like Princess Place Preserve and the county fairgrounds had been among the options, but he said he eliminated them because they have “current other uses,” though it’s more likely that other members of his staff howled at the suggestion that the homeless would be in areas where tourists, a commodity in Flagler as sacred as India’s cows, could actually see them.

It was the second time in a week that he was falling on a sword to protect his staff (he did so last week after the cancellation of a meeting that was to address Bing’s Landing issues.)

One crisis was averted. Others were not: if anything, the controversy over exiling the homeless heightened attention on what City Council member Jack Howell describes as a “crisis” near the library, and what others have described as a chronic homeless issue all local governments have refused to tackle beyond words and makeshift solutions.

The handling–or mishandling–of the camp at the library illustrates the improvisational approach, and the reaction to it shows to what extent turf and the assignment of responsibilities (if not blame) remains a difficult obstacle in the way of a more humane and lasting solution.

Last Saturday (March 2), Flagler County government officials gave the homeless in the makeshift camp behind the library the now-infamous “notice to vacate.”

Jerry Cameron is now Flagler's interim administrator, following Craig Coffey. (© FlaglerLive)

Jerry Cameron. (© FlaglerLive)

The red-lettered notice was posted at 15 locations at and around the site, including at various spots in the library, which is frequently used by the homeless for its bathrooms, its water, its protection against the weather, its comforts and its resources, including WiFi and the internet. The homeless were given until next Friday, March 8, to be out, and offered as an alternative transport to Russell Landing. (See a profile of Russell Landing here.)

The county in a news release issued Tuesday said it was moving the homeless out to comply “with the notice served by the City of Palm Coast Code Enforcement to clear the property of litter, debris, vegetation, and potentially life-threatening hazards.”

“We are under a mandate from the city of Palm Coast to clean that area up, and we need to underbrush it, so it’s going to take us a week, maybe two.”

Palm Coast officials were surprised by the county’s release, which conflated the city’s notice with the ejection of the homeless as if the two originated from the same source. They did not. Nor did Palm Coast exactly mandate a buzz-cut approach on the 18-acre property.

On Feb. 19, Barbara Grossman, the city’s code enforcement manager, wote her counterpart at the county, Eddy Rodriguez, that she had gotten a complaint from a homeowner on 31 Braddock Lane, across the canal from the county acreage, who allowed code enforcement inspectors to use his property. They caught sight of the debris across the canal and took a very grainy picture of it, which Grossman sent Rodriguez.

As you can see in the attached photo there is evidence of accumulations, litter and debris,” she wrote him. “The City is requesting that the violation be corrected within 30 days from the date of this email. If not corrected a Notice of Violation will be issued and the case will be scheduled for the next available Code Board Hearing.”

Interim City Manager Beau Falgout described Grossman’s mail as a “courtesy” notice that gave the county plenty of time to address the garbage issue, even beyond the 30-day timeframe. “There was never a point where we formally put a sticker on their door, the point was to try to work with them,” Falgout said in a brief interview Tuesday evening. Earlier at the Palm Coast City Council meeting, Falgout said the city was not approaching the county about the homeless: the city has “no regulations related to homelessness.” The city has no authority to tell the county to ship out the homeless or to regulate them, just as the county has no legal authority to forbid the homeless from using public land when it can’t provide a more viable alternative. (The city can, however, forbid camping in its city parks, and does so.)

Nor, it appeared at the time, had anyone suggested to simply shift the homeless around on the 18-acre property to enable the county’s work to proceed, lending credence to what County Commissioner Joe Mullins later said: the county was attempting to put the homeless “out of sight, out of mind.” by sending them to disparate ends of the county, or to other counties, it was hoping they would eventually disappear, Mullins said.

Shipping homeless around would not have been unique to Flagler: it’s a common tactic adopted by innumerable cities around the nation, some of whom actually fly and bus the homeless very long distance, including to other territories and nations, with one-way tickets, as the Guardian revealed in an investigative report 15 months ago. “Cities have been offering homeless people free bus tickets to relocate elsewhere for at least three decades,” the paper reported as part of an analysis of 34,240 such journeys involving 21,400 homeless people. “In recent years, homeless relocation programs have become more common, sprouting up in new cities across the country and costing the public millions of dollars.”

He had not liked the idea of Russell Landing for other reasons as well: he learned of it from the press, and said he was “a little shocked that it happened before we knew,” making it seem as if little had changed in the administration: he wanted more transparency.

The homeless camp behind the library has had a population of between two and three dozen, and recent visits to the camp by City Council member Jack Howell and County Commission Chairman Don O’Brien have increased urgency to address the issue. Howell said he was in conversations with O’Brien to get a working group together but until Tuesday evening did not have the authority to speak on behalf of the city.

O’Brien appeared before the council Tuesday evening. He was supportive of the county administration’s plan, which at the time was still all about exile. “I think we have a handle on what’s happening on the property behind the library, that will go a long way to answering some of the concerns the citizens have,” O’Brien told the council.

“We will have more to come with that,” Palm Coast Mayor Milissa Holland said. “This is the first I’m hearing of relocation and cleaning up of the property, hopefully that’s a step in approaching the safety and health of the issue.”

The council soon gave Howell authority to speak for the city on homeless issues–after he had something of a tamper tantrum directed at Mayor Milissa Holland, who preferred to see what the county would do before scheduling a city workshop on the issue. But she shifted tracks halfway through the discussion, agreeing to Howell as a point person. “We’re recognizing him as our voice and he will bring and update us on the progress being made,” Holland said, “and thank you for taking the lead.”

Howell had seesawed over Russell Landing, declaring himself opposed at first, then seeing it as a workable, temporary solution if there was going to be busing available. But when he saw images of the camp in a FlaglerLive story published earlier today, he said it wasn’t what he had in mind. “We need to and I think we can do better.”

But do what? The question has been posed year after year, without an answer–and with no money in sight, especially from cash-strapped Flagler County, to put toward the issue.

Which makes today’s resolution at the library what could yet again be a defacto long-term solution.

The homeless themselves were certainly indicating a sense of ownership in what’s been their home for years. Not long after this story initially published, Cameron contacted FlaglerLive with “an interesting human story on this,” in his words. The homeless, he said, “have volunteered to help with the clean-up, so our folks are going to go out and issue them some protective equipment and so forth, so they’re actually going to work to be a part of the solution.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

62 Responses for “Facing Mounting Criticism, Flagler Scraps Exiling Palm Coast Homeless and Will Keep Them Near the Library”

  1. Derrick Redder says:

    Wow push them away in the time out corner, clean up thier shit then let them go about creating a toxic dump that we have to pay for all over again. Yet I can’t even get Wastepro to collect the house trash can on trash day and when and if they do (Wastepro) spills half of it in the road.
    Stop with the pandering and nonsense. They are squatters and tresspasers . Move them along or lock them up. These folks are not now or where they ever resident taxpayers. They are however abusers if the failed socail system and are the rejects from other places that were forced out by other counties that got tired of the very same stuff they are trying to force on us.

  2. cybercrimes says:

    Hey does this mean that I can stop paying my trash removal fees at my residence? Also can I stop paying my property taxes without penalty? Or do I need to go live behind a business on land that does not belong to me for those amenities.

  3. Callthemasiseethem says:

    This issue is absolutely a powder keg on so many levels. Elected officials that side with the idea of allowing this to continue can almost guarantee they will be voted out. It doesn’t matter if the land is owned by Flagler County. City of Palm Coast Officials will be the ones held accountable by voters.

  4. Stretchem says:

    How about a county pet tax? Make it part of the vacination registration requirements. Something along the lines of $10 an animal/yr. Less than a dollar a month to contribute to helping a fellow human. In Flagler that should bring in $1m+ annually to house, feed, transport and educate, what was it? Two dozen people? In a county of 100k?

    People will drop thousands and thousands on their animals. Their “babies”. Why hesitate to pay $10/yr. for another man/woman/child? Crazy, retarded, stupid, lazy, mean, nasty, dirty, does it matter? Is that any different from your animals?

  5. Mary Fusco says:

    Wow. Resources for help need to be offered. Get people out there to offer help and explain what resources are available. Those who refuse, for whatever reason, whether it be that they are alcoholics or drug addicts, will need to move on or face being locked up. They will be on their own and I am sure they are more than able to find another squatting place. I would say that all the bleeding hearts each put a tent in their backyard (or is that a code violation?) and clean up their mess while they are out panhandling, drinking and/or using drugs. Amazing that tax paying citizens of PC are fined if a car is parked in the swale or their grass is 1/4 inch too long or a WORK vehicle is parked in the driveway. I am NOT heartless. Yes, there are those out there through unfortunate circumstances who will take help. Then there are those out there who will never take help because they will not conform and this is a lifestyle. Those who will not take help need to go.

  6. Dave says:

    Would be nice to live in a County with leaders that thought ahead and smartly and had knowledge of things and could figure stuff out. But I guess what we have will have to do. Atleast at the library they have access to books and knowledge, maybe we can build a structure with showers and the kids of palm coast can come to this property and help the homeless each day building gardens. Also I think it would nice of the local churches to hold foot washing days where the congragation can volunteer to wash the dirty sore feet for the homeless ,much like Jesus would do.

  7. Ann Simpson says:

    Derrick redder how sure are you that these people have never been tax paying residents?

  8. LawAbidingCitizen says:

    Although I do feel bad for anybody homeless, why are we doing all the work for them. Instead of the Citycleaning up for them. Why not assist with getting them a job of some sort. This teaches the homeless nothing other than make a mess and somebody else will clean it up. I’ve seen some of these homeless people before near the corner store. Walking to the library area with a case of beer. No job, no real home but a case of beer is more important. We are creating more problems helping them instead of assisting them

  9. Thomas says:

    Our leaders lack backbone. Now our
    new city manager is folding his tent. It is clear to me that he is not the man we need.

  10. 2006 local says:

    If they aren’t gonna bring the homeless to russel landing why are they there county trucks opening up the camp site at 7:30 pm they might be trying to trick us be ready to block the road this isn’t right

  11. A Human says:

    We take care of animals better than human lives.

  12. Michael Cocchiola says:

    That’s it…move them along or incarcerate them. Very progressive. But, move them to where? Jail them at a cost of thousands per year…each? We have to actually give this some thought and not react to the wingnuts in this town.

  13. ConstantlyAmazed says:

    A problem that was allowed to fester a hysterical bureaucracy, an embarrassed commission and council an angry commissioner (who realized they were being deposited in his district) . The end result NOTHING.!

    Scratch that I mean the end result, the homeless will have there campground cleaned up at county expense so they can go back to doing everything they did before those code enforcement managers came up with the plan to banish them to the landings.

  14. Disgusted says:

    So the idea of putting them in the middle of nowhere wasnt too smart. But letting them back in there after isn’t smart either. No one wants to be threatened by them to go to the library. Maybe move 1/4 mile down the road make an area with an entry way. Have a dumpster at entrance to properly dispose of trash. Maybe even a porta potty too. I think that’s more than fair and wont effect the library patrons.

  15. TB says:

    Absolutely agree. They are homeless for the simple fact that they do not WANT to change their situation. They expect everything to be given to them and when it isn’t, they put up a stink. Their behavior is very much like that of spoiled children and our county and city officials are the enabling prents. Enforce the law, get them or at the very least, force them to clean up after themselves. Either way the blame is on them and there is absolutely zero excuse for condition they have let their so called “home” fall into!

  16. Dan says:

    It is wrong for correct and important reasons. Those homeless will not be greatful and will mess the place up no matter what you try to do. You can’t win and keep it clean. Do the hard thing instead and move them out.

  17. TEW says:

    This is unbelievable! These people are abusing the system. They are squatters and the City is ok with this ? As a resident and taxpayer, I am tired of passing the library every night and seeing how dirty the parking lot is while these people sit, smoke, eat and talk on cell phones. I understand that people need a hand up, but is this really the best solution- to allow them to continue to use the library facilities and then return to their “camp”? I have a hard time believing these people are displaced residents. Why doesn’t someone suggest these folks look for jobs? They are able to stand outside for hours to solicite money which would mean they are able bodied enough to work. There has to be a better solution than this.

  18. J Kranz says:

    It’s very sad to see that since no one knows how to deal with this situation nothing will be done!!! As a private citizen I can’t ask these people to remove themselves and seek aid or treatment. Maybe if these people established their campsites on elected officials front lawns something would get done and I’m willing to bet it’d happen FAST!!!

  19. GlowWorm says:

    Why can’t we put the dumpsters out there and let them clean up their own mess. Rolling showers and laundromats so they can bathe and have clean clothes.

  20. J Kranz says:

    On second thought, rather than have the homeless parking themselves on the lawns of our elected officials… let’s just vote them OUT of office because they’re not for our citizens … just themselves people. So always remember exactly how powerful you are when you VOTE!!! Make your voice be heard loud and clear. That’s the American way!

  21. Mary Fusco says:

    @Stretchum. Sorry but what I spend on my pets is my business. It is my money. If I am walking my dogs and they shit on your lawn, I PICK IT UP. These people need to learn to do the same. Unless, of course, you are up to going over to the library and picking it up for them while they panhandle or sit on a curb and drink and/or do drugs. Put your money where your mouth is..

  22. Debra Johnson says:

    Palm Coast has always considered the city as a some kind of gated community. Just a little out of reach for anyone or thing. But here’s a reality. Per capita Palm Coast has a more drug abuse than a city twice it size. Not from the homeless,, but the youth. As is most crime in this elite city. But this attitude toward the homeless comes as no surprise. No one chooses to be homeless, and they are down on their luck, some beaten down from trying. But to Palm Coast they are an embarrassment. So they need to be hidden away. Here’s an idea. Build a homeless shelter. Nothing fancy, a warm bed, soup kitchen, showers, clean donated clothes, shoes…Offer them job placement assistance. Teach or let them educate each other. Set rules that they have to live by to stay. And maybe they can be productive instead of your embarrassment. Just a thought. Find enough compassion to help them, not bus them

  23. kathy roberts says:

    If they will not accept proper help… VA, to substance abuse or mental health facilities………..then THEY ALL NEED TO GO. We should not have to accept ENABLING them to stay in their present state. This is supposed to be a decent place to live. Not where you constantly have to rub elbows with homeless people with no source of income other than begging on roads, at store parking lots, etc. If they don’t get enough money begging, they rob houses. They steal from stores & hopefully get caught. It’s a definite blight to our community & why should we feel sorry for them that they are unwilling to help themselves. I am so sick of having to tolerate less than acceptable behavior.

  24. Sherry Blevins says:

    Oh my God I just saw the update! What the Hell is wrong with City of Palm Coast seriously, WOW why are we catering to these people? Hmm should we give them paychecks for being disturbing and dangerous alcoholics thieves and drug addicts ? This is an absolute outrage, and we are going to foot the bill! I cant even have a garbadge can on the side of my home, God forbid our company truck is in the driveway overnight but we can put up portable toilets and clear brush out for these people!! Im all for people bettering their lives but it aint happening and because Palm Coast & Flagler County Sheriff’s Office let this go for so long when we all started complaining this is the product of complacency and trying to be “politically” correct. My daughter was the manager of wendys right there cant tell you how in fear we were for her at night and how many times police had to be called, they would come in drunk n high and deficate on the floor ,threaten her. Grow a set officials and put no trespassing no loitering n no pan handleing and enforce it. Bust the heroine n meth dealers and end this investation before we wind up like palm bay! Lifes about choices they choose to live this way and No they arent useing the Library to look for employment. The best thing they could do for these people is MANDATORTY Rehab. Infuriated, if they allow this I will post each officials name who decided in favor of this and vote them out!

  25. the this the says:

    drunk lazy homeless folk have outsmarted the so called educated elected officials and the ignorant civilian who believes more programs and tax money is all that is needed to fix this problem. set up some game cameras while cleaning up and they will show these people are not just down on their luck but abusing a system run by idiots.

  26. also it says:

    i leave a small trailer in my driveway one night and receive a note on my garage threatening fines. yet these lazy party people making hundreds of dollars a day begging on corners get their squatted land professionally cleaned for free. learn the politicians names and stance on this issue and vote accordingly.

  27. Denise Calderwood says:

    FlaglerLive Thanks again taking the time to write an informative article on the topic. I have to admit I am disappointed in the comments that I am reading. It is obvious that there are residents, elected officials and even caring people (those who give money to panhandlers) of Palm Coast that need to be educated on the topic. I am looking forward to working closely with Councilman Howell and Commissioner Mullins on this topic since they are people of action. Believe me, I have attended a lot of meetings where all that occurs is talking and more talking….enough already..since I attend these meetings as a volunteer.

    Derrick I know for a fact that several of the people living in the woods were and are law abiding, tax paying citizens. One woman there now owned three houses at the same time….until the recession hit….And these people all of them pay taxes just like you and me when they go to the store- Remember the Mayor’s Buy Local Campaign-well, that was the homeless people’s main concern when I drove the bus to take them out to the campsite….they asked me where are the stores, where can we eat at….the closest store to the campsite was three miles away on a dirt road-so riding a bicycle was not an option. These homeless spend their money daily at Publix, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, CVS, Dollar General and yes, even the liquor store. They are all over 21 so this is still ok isn’t it? They don’t have a stove or a microwave or even fires going so they eat out or eat unhealthy food on a daily basis.

    Since this issue came up, three people all over 64, who live in these woods, have been hospitalized, a few “bad apples” moved on….and who knows where or who cares- hopefully, they went on their own to another county, four have been recently placed in programs that could get them help and another three are being enrolled in programs and one young man-obtained full time employment after working as a day laborer for a local company and one was reunited with his family in Jacksonville. But this only happened since we- the community recognized that we have a homeless problem in Flagler County. Prior administrations actually made the statement that “Flagler has no homeless”…yet we have over 500 students registered as needing homeless assistance in the Flagler School system. We have programs in Volusia County but we have no transportation to get them to the programs but this issue is finally being addressed… somewhat. Volusia County gets and keeps Flagler County’s share of federal homeless dollars but doesn’t serve our residents or at least they didn’t until their story came out!

    Check out the new movie trailer by Emilo Estevez, called “The Public” it is opening April 5, Epic Theater isn’t offering the movie yet but we are seeing if it could be shown here-the timing is perfect and there is a website, that can help educate us all on the homeless. Or check out Ryan Dowd’s website…he has great suggestions.

    And we have all the data, any one of us, just about at anytime, (about 63% of Flagler residents) can find themselves out there, homeless or near it and in need thanks to rising taxes and fees and no real employment unless you know someone, so be grateful it is not you.

    And I am wondering, would you or anyone you know hire a homeless person living in the woods, if so please make contact with me since I know several homeless people who are looking for a job or an affordable place they could live on their social security check- which averages $775 a month !

    And if anyone wants to help, the homeless have organized their own cleanup schedule and are starting it on Thursday….they finally got permission to use the library’s dumpster.

  28. Willy Boy says:

    Use the Noriega solution. Blast rap music at them 24/7. It’ll be like rats leaving a burning ship.

  29. flagler1 says:

    If you clean it up once you had better be ready to clean it up often. Why don’t they clean up their area? The only way to get on your feet is to get off your ass. Oh yeah, animals don’t know better so they need all the help they can get.

  30. JOE SCHMO says:

    We’ve all seen the man at the liquor store beggin’ for your change
    The hair on his face is dirty, dreadlocked and full of mange
    He ask the man for what he could spare with shame in his eyes
    Get a job you f**kin’ slob’s all he replied

    God forbid you ever had to walk a mile in his shoes
    ‘Cause then you really might know what it’s like to sing the blues
    Then you really might know what it’s like [x4]
    Lyrics from

  31. CMW says:

    They have to have decent clothes, a place to sleep and bathe, food & transportation to get a job and keep it. How is that going to happen? They might be able to get a job paying $10 an hour. That would be approx 280.00 a week after taxes. That’s not enough to sustain these basic needs. They would still need medical if they get sick, car insurance. The list goes on. It cost money for all the basic needs of life. These people cannot sustain themselves period. Even if they got a job. They have given up and are dependent on the generosity of others and any freebies that are out there. Those are the facts. What is the answer? So far nobody has one. We may as well make a place for them because we are paying for them anyway one way or another in our taxes and high Hospital costs. But they must be off the drugs and alcohol to be allowed in.

  32. Palm Coast Resident says:

    The county was, in fact, processing this. I don’t think the county was trying to hide people, and it was trying to figure out where they could offer them a place while cleaning up the library grounds. My concern was that there didn’t seem to be a valid exit plan. With transportation provided twice daily by the county, couldn’t homeless folks living in the Mondex area start congregating there? There would certainly be volunteers bringing food to that site, offering additional rides and resources. The camp would likely grow, and what would an exit look like?

    So, the county was trying to move quickly. They came up with what seemed to be the most reasonable solution–they HAD to offer someplace else, and Haw Creek was far enough from a large number of residents to reduce that risk, and it did have on-site amenities, AND the county was willing to transport people into town to resolve the issue of them being so far away from civilization.

    With limited cell signal there, that location could be a dangerous place to be and sleep over night for extended times. It’s different for a group of boy scouts with families on the outside, with a limited time there, with group leaders who are in possession of a multitude of resources.

    The new plan gives the county time to figure out a way to resolve the issue humanely. I imagine the library staff is sorely disappointed by the fact that they’ll still be there. I imagine local residents are understandably frustrated; however, cleaning up the area, section by section, will slowly remove the comfort of making camp there while resource workers get to know the homeless citizens, perhaps get a bit of a census to figure out how they can connect with these citizens and keep the peace (or encourage them to take advantage of the multitude of resources available to people who are ready to make a change in their lives for the better).

    The county may still find a way to relocate these folks, but the Haw Creek idea, as good as it may have seemed to a group of folks making well over $50,000 a year with little concept of the location and marginal understanding of some of the complex issues facing these homeless individuals, wasn’t an an idea with a high chance for success. Luckily, the idea is off the shelf.

  33. Palmcoaster says:

    Most posting here totally divested from compassion towards (our fellow American fallen in hard times) the homeless, and look like they haven’t read the last paragraph of this courageous excellent Flaglerlive editorial: “The homeless themselves were certainly indicating a sense of ownership in what’s been their home for years. Not long after this story initially published, Cameron contacted FlaglerLive with “an interesting human story on this,” in his words. The homeless, he said, “have volunteered to help with the clean-up, so our folks are going to go out and issue them some protective equipment and so forth, so they’re actually going to work to be a part of the solution.”
    Those with negative critique never say a word of the trillions of our tax dollars wasted in foreign useless wars to defend “others human rights in faraway lands” while ignoring the basic needs of mental and medical rehab, bathrooms, showers of our own fallen ill or in financial distress living without a roof. They never complain about our taxes going to the coffers of the very rich while praying in our meager Medicare or confiscating the only roof they have over the unexpected loss of a job. My appreciation to Flagler Live Pierre that told us as really was, and to our councilman Jack Howell to take this issue off the back burner and given it urgency right now! And yes like some suggest above; what about building maybe in our public lands off Rte 1, were cell ph service is available a nice simple campsite with his hers bathrooms and showers and a large pavilion with solar roof (maybe solar panels requested donation from FPL as we make their investors rich in Florida) with tent sites among landscape done by volunteers.
    A campsite with an area just dedicated to large RV visiting FL for a reduced rate to help cover the minimal expenses of the assigned site occupied by our homeless. Just a nice simple designed place were our law enforcement can patrol as well and our volunteers can still serve the homeless until some of them can be rehabilitated out of their situation. Hope is the last we should ever give up while trying to help our fellow Americans in distress. Thank you all that opposed that forced migration 22 miles away to a hell place. Specially to Pierre that should be nominated for the Press Nobel price for his courageous reporting.

  34. Realist says:

    Having worked for ITT and been here a long time, it saddens me to see Palm Coast dissolving into a mess we are going to find it hard to reverse. All the little things we tolerate are adding up. Lets Place the homeless on the lawns of elected officials. I feel for the peop[le on Braddock an as a realtor, I can tell you it will begin to affect property values.

  35. mark101 says:

    Its the same in every city in the United States. Dealing with the homeless is a huge problem and nobody knows how address it. I say put these people to work if they are medically able in the area they are located. Help them get back on their feet. The real issue is the real bums, the drug users and those that do not want to do anything period, they want everything for free. well some light categorized prison can be free, food, water, medical care, housing, and in house jobs all included.

  36. Me says:

    I was so pleased to read that plans have changed to relocate the homeless. I think it is progress that they have agreed to clean up their area and they should. The homeless need to form a team and those in charge need to make sure they keep their area clean and dispose their trash.

    It is sad that so many put down homeless people, no one knows each of their circumstances, they could be veterans, they could be people that lost their jobs, many different reasons. Those that are fortunate to have a roof over their heads does that give you the right to put those unfortunate down? I don’t think so.

  37. PCer says:

    Ummmmmm….. where are all of our high and mighty religious leaders? Aren’t good Christians/Catholics/Jews/Muslims….. supposed to help the needy? Aren’t these people the very definition of needy? Why are they not opening their tax sheltered buildings for these people in need?

  38. library user says:

    We take our 5 year old to the library. Who could possibly think having a homeless camp next to the library makes sense?

  39. atilla says:

    Most of the people are in favor of moving them to the southwest. Only a FEW oppose it. These people are not from here they’re snow birds and we the tax payers shouldn’t have to put up with this crap. Get rid of them and post at the city limits that they’re not allowed.

  40. Shark says:

    Move them to Bing’s Landing !!!!

  41. June P. Citizen says:

    The county is cash strapped????? Did I not see new mustangs for the Sherriff’s office? How about not allowing anyone to use a county vehicle to and from work or on their lunch break. How about the firemen NOT start up a big rig to drive across the street to Publix for lunch. How about the county and City of Palm coast OPEN up the Taj Mahal, court house and other buildings that are empty sitting there doing nothing, that the TAXPAYERS paid for to let them in and shower and sleep at night. How about finding them a job? How about NOT thinking out of sight is out of mind.
    How about people stop thinking the West end of the county is the dumping ground for a problem that all officials have driven by in their county vehicles or fancy cars for years and looking the other way. How about they stop wasting money on plants in the medians that DIE after one season and stop hiring OUTSIDE companies to clean that mess up *HEY…there is a job for them and they can be on the payroll so no liability issues there!!!! How about the paper pushers stop doing projects to make them feel more powerful so they they sleep better at night in their cozy beds, that waste tax payer money. How about you all get fired for even considering SHIPPING humans out of town to make them someone else’s mess. How about you all give up your county vehicles…we have to drive to and from work on our own dime…the money you save in county GAS can surely pay to help these people. How about you open your HOMES instead of letting them SQUAT in someone else’s back yard. How about the county and the city of PALM COAST stop paying RENTS for OFFICE SPACE and use the buildings that costs US millions that we already pay rent on that are more than HALF empty. To the City of BUNNELL……DO NOT LET THEM PUSH US AROUND. The West end of the county is already NEGLECTED enough!! How will these people get into town? WALK along 305, 100 west? get hit by cars? Don’t tell me your going to bus them everyday? You are all pathetic paper pushers.

  42. Ken says:

    The solution is simple, homeless people should not be allowed to create communities in Palm Coast, trespass and loitering laws should be enforced. Flagler does not have the resources, services or tax base to support their reintegration to society. They know this and that’s why they came here. Over my time working with homeless people I found that most don’t want any responsibility and will run from it.

  43. Priscilla L Bugari says:

    How pathetic to read the responses. It is not fair to categorize all the homeless as drug addicts and alcoholics. Yes, it is true some may be and some don’t want help, but I’m sure they didn’t wake up and decide to be homeless. Regardless, the community as a whole should come together to find a solution. We need to consider how much is spent on trees, trails, etc and maybe divert some money for establishing a sheltered area for them that isn’t so remote. There is way too much money wasted on buying buildings repairing them, landscaping, lighting at fields, and interim salaries. It’s time for the community to stand up and be part of a solution and not the problem. How about some empathy, these are human beings that are trying to survive.

  44. Mark says:

    They are preparing for the new socialist America.

  45. Concerned Citizen says:

    This is a difficult decision indeed. But the most at fault are the Officials who let this happen.

    For a long time now the City and County has known about the camp behind the library. Yet they let them squat and trespass there. I’m sorry if those are harsh words but it’s true. And now that pblic attention has been garnered everyone is up in arms.

    You and I are required to pay property tax and keep our properties maintained. If not we get visits from Code Enforcement. I just got one the other day because I had been gone for a few days and 3 papers were on the driveway. Wasn’t much concerned about papers while dealing with an out of state family death.

    These people have totally trashed the area back there. And it’s not just contained to the area. I service commercial properties nearby and they feel the effects. In less than 3 weeks one property has had to pay for 2 trash pick ups and have a sidewalk bleached and pressurewashed to remove human feces.

    This was done after we asked them to stop hanging out under awnings to charge their electronics. These trash pick ups contained piles of beer cans and liquor bottles along with food wrappers. Some of these folks are drinking good stuff. And we continue to find needles and other paraphanilia.

    Having helped the homeless numerous times only to see a repetition of lifestyle my empathy only goes so far. These people are trespassing and most are using narcotics. Last I looked you or I couldn’t shoot up and drink in public. Yet our officials and Law Enforcement aren’t doing anything about it. Homeless or not if you break the law you should answer for it. Stop giving free passes.

    It’s time our City and County Officials do their jobs.

  46. Sean Peckham says:

    Simple solution turn the sheriffs office into a homeless shelter then bus them there it’s so contaminated no one will stay problem solved

  47. Fire the New County Administrator says:

    Why harass the homeless when there are others that are at or around the library that need to be removed can’t be and they aren’t homeless. Have a little compassion in your hearts for the less fortunate….they are not trash. This new county administrator apparently lacks good judgment for ever considering this option! Heidi Petito is just another puppet, just like she was for Coffey. Thank you Joe Mullins for making sure these people were not just put in the swamp without hot water, emergency services etc.

  48. Downtown says:

    Why are they not required to pay rent for their camp site? Why are they not required to clean up after themselves and to keep the camp site free of trash? These people are not penniless. When your sporting the latest issue of Air Jordan”s while your standing on the corner with your little sign begging that tells me you have money. When I see you walking back to your camp site with a 12 pack and a fresh pack of smokes that tells me you have money. When I see you whip out your Iphone that tells me you have money.. We all have read the stories of panhandlers bragging of making more money begging than they could working and it’s all tax free. I think the city and county should collect rent or at least have them working picking up trash or something in exchange for a safe place to camp. There is ample space in town center, away from residential areas for a homeless camp to be established and monitored by the sheriff dept. It’s a wonder we haven’t had a major brush fire with people living off the grid in the wooded areas of town.

  49. Vinnie says:

    Make them pick up trash around the city for 8 hours a day and give them a tent and food. Put up a tent city across US 1 where there’s nothing but Pine trees………. Or throw them out of the county .

  50. Trey Parker says:

    Palm Coast citizens are living an episode of South Park!

    Season 11 – Episode 7

  51. atilla says:

    How about the remodeled community center? That has everything they should need and if not we can get what ever they need such as a pool and beds and a chef to make meals, the list is endless.

  52. chips says:

    Do you really think they are going to use the dumpster? Where are they going to go to the bathroom…all 39 using the library rest room and ONLY when the library is open? The place will continue to be a health hazard.

    And to the person that said we treat our pets better than these people my reply is: Animals have NO voice,
    these people do and they have the ability to help themselves.

  53. Jason says:

    I shot some footage of the dump with my drone. I get it if they had respect for the land but from my birds eye view, they dont. It’s an absolute disgusting filth. They’re also bringing their drugs to the corners as was witnessed a week ago with a guy passed out on drugs at the southeast corner of PCPNORTH. We all have rules to follow. These people need to follow them too.

  54. Corey miller says:

    Wow, my heart breaks at some of these comments. The Bible says what you do to the least you have done to me . Why not show compassion and Love regardless of what they might do with it… God is Love ….

  55. Al belletto says:

    Palm Coast already collects a pet fee of $5 per dog per year .Not sure about cats

  56. Ann says:

    I have been sending emails to the Mayor, Code Enforcement and others at the City for over a year regarding the homeless people. They are ruining our beautiful city and giving us a bad reputation, we are the taxpayers that pay for the city employees salaries, schools, library etc. they need to go!! people can’t even take their children to the library, what are we making a decision about? are you kidding me??
    The City has so many ridiculous rules that make no sense and will not bring in decent new business, you chase everyone away but will allow drug addicts and alcoholics to live, litter, panhandle and loiter on public property and turn a cheek to it.
    I am very concerned about the people making the decisions in our community they are definitely not good ones.

  57. thomas conrad says:

    If our leaders feel compelled to placate these people, move them into the large elegantly beautiful grounds around the County Administration and Judicial centers and Palm Coast City Hall. They could easily use the spacious indoor facilities to bathe, launder, socialize, and sleep in climate controlled facilities.

    Our powerful civic leaders should be able to quickly solve this problem to everyone’s satisfaction with the resources at hand.

  58. deb says:

    @ Corey , then let the chruch handle the homeless.

  59. lnzc says:

    Put on the sheriffs farm,make them work that are able

  60. Dave says:

    So many people are scared of the homeless, its laughable. These aren’t dangerous people, they aren’t bad people. Now local Dr. Fruhan, that is a dangerous person, the ex flagler commissioner that beats women, he is scary. The sheriff that holds inmates lives to a lesser standard, that’s someone to fear, the crooked politicians and buisness people involved with Captains BBQ, those are the ones you should fear, NOT the homeless.

  61. TPHJ says:

    I have a good idea, Put Psychological Warfare on the table, and blast; “These boots were made for walking” over and over again- it worked in Waco Texas…

  62. John C says:

    I moved to Palm Coast for peace, quiet, and low crime. Now the clueless hand-wringers want to turn our city into another Los Angeles or San Francisco, by allowing squatters to occupy public land, use the Flagler Library as their toilet (as well as turning the library bathrooms into their own personal bathing facility). NONE of these mostly young people appear to be physically disabled. Most have cell phones. In this roaring economy, they have no excuse for not taking a job, ANY job, to begin the process of taking control of their own lives. NOBODY owes these slackers anything. If YOU feel so inclined, you are free to take them into your own home (or back yard), but that will never happen, because “do-gooders” like you want others to fund your fake “compassion” in order to feel better about yourselves.

Leave a Reply

FlaglerLive's forum, as noted in our comment policy, is for debate and conversation that adds light and perspective to articles. Please be courteous, don't attack fellow-commenters or make personal attacks against individuals in stories, and try to stick to the subject. All comments are moderated.

Read FlaglerLive's Comment Policy | Subscribe to the Comment Feed rss flaglerlive comment feed rss

More stories on FlaglerLive

FlaglerLive Email Alerts

Enter your email address to get alerts.


suppert flaglerlive flagler live palm coast flagler county news pierre tristam florida
fcir florida center for investigative reporting

Recent Comments

FlaglerLive is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization | P.O. Box 254263, Palm Coast, FL 32135 | Contact the Editor by email | (386) 586-0257 | Sitemap | Log in