There are a lot of homeless people here in South Florida. The climate and the economy make it attractive for people down on their luck, and you see them in a lot of places where the tourists gather. Some people are freaked out by them, so the city fathers of Fort Lauderdale decided to do something about the poor folks.
…the city of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida is on the cusp of passing a new regulation that would make it illegal for anyone to store their personal things on public property. Specifically, it would empower police to confiscate any personal possessions stored on public property, provided they have given the homeless person 24-hours notice. If the homeless people wish to retrieve their items, they must pay the city “reasonable charges for storage and removal of the items,” though that fee is waived if the person is able to demonstrate he or she cannot afford to pay. The city may dispose of any possessions not retrieved within 30 days. One of the driving factors behind the measure, according to the legislation, is the city’s “interest in aesthetics.”
Last week, the City Commission gave unanimous preliminary approval to the measure, despite overwhelming opposition from local residents who testified.
For the amount of money the city is going to spend enforcing this Dickensian nightmare of social engineering, they could support the charities and community-based organizations that are making a genuine effort to help. But they’d rather go for the aesthetics. Sheesh.