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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster convenes meeting on homeless



With a recent uptick in homeless, St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster will meet with county officials to find ways to get some people off the streets.

Foster said he and Police Chief Chuck Harmon will meet next week with Pasco-Pinellas Public Defender Bob Dillinger, Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney Bernie McCabe, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri and Thomas McGrady, chief judge of the Pinellas-Pasco County Circuit.

One topic is the many people arriving from New Jersey since Hurricane Sandy hit the state in October, Foster said.

Many homeless people are telling outreach workers that St. Petersburg is a destination because of the services it provides, he added. The city, Foster said, can’t solve the issue by simply slapping handcuffs on people.

“We’re looking at alternatives to jail,” the mayor said.

Council member Charlie Gerdes praised city workers for their work, saying: “Doing a wonderful job at things has a double-edged sword.”

[Last modified: Friday, March 29, 2013 4:10pm]


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