Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Downtown homeless will have help during RNC

TAMPA — When politicians and protestors descend on downtown streets for the Republican National Convention, help will be ready for those who call the streets home.

Homeless advocates are making plans, including opening doors throughout the day at the Salvation Army on Florida Avenue, and providing homeless people a place to stow their belongings.

"We'll try to make it easier for them," said Steve Vick, general manager of the Salvation Army in Tampa.

Usually, the Salvation Army's shelter opens at 4:30 p.m. and ushers guests out at 7 a.m. The homeless aren't allowed inside during the day. The shelter, with 130 beds, has been full recently, Vick said.

The Homeless Coalition of Hillsborough County, a private, nonprofit organization, is leading efforts during the convention with various programs that serve homeless people.

City officials say they have no plans to round up the homeless.

Rumors that homeless people would be shipped out of town are just that, said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn.

Edi Erb, interim CEO for the coalition, said 6,400 people were living on the streets in 2011. Most live downtown or nearby.

Typically, they stash belongings in bushes or other hideaways. These bundles of things are at risk with an estimated 15,000 protestors on the streets and 4,000 law enforcement officers securing the area, Erb said.

And more important, Erb worries about the potential for crimes against homeless people. She hopes to place them at existing programs with open beds.

She also hopes to be able to offer more than just a few days off the streets to those who take the offer to vacate during the convention.

But with little time left, options are limited and advocates are still seeking offers from those who could provide shelter and other services.

Elisabeth Parker can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3431.

Downtown homeless will have help during RNC 08/14/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 12:16am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Romano: Why flood insurance might not be enough to save your home

    Local Government

    Irma is gone, and Maria never came.

    And yet this is as good a time as any to worry.

  2. Tampa's streetcar system looks to expand north through downtown

    Transportation

    TAMPA — The TECO Line Streetcar system that runs from Ybor City to the Channel District could be extended north through downtown all the way to Tampa Heights, according to the latest update of a $1.7 million study aimed at expanding the streetcar system.

    Riders take in the last few stops of the streetcar route in Ybor City during the tenth anniversary celebration of the TECO line streetcar system in Tampa in 2012. Now officials are looking for ways to expand the service north through downtown to Tampa Heights. [EVE EDELHEIT  |  Times]
  3. Interview: Steve Martin, Martin Short bringing 'best version' of their show back to St. Petersburg

    Stage

    Hot celebrity-spotting tip: Stop by the Salvador Dalí Museum on Jan. 19. You might catch a glimpse of Steve Martin.

    Steve Martin, left, and Martin Short will bring “An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life” to the Mahaffey Theater on Jan. 19.
  4. Report: Well-being of black and Hispanic children continues to lag in Florida

    K12

    Despite making progress in health care access and parental employment, Florida has not improved its poverty rate for children over the past five years, a newly released national report shows.

    Students line up in the courtyard at predominantly black Lakewood Elementary in St. Petersburg. A new report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation finds that Florida ranks 28th in the nation on an index that measures the well-being of black children. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  5. Second lady Karen Pence to speak at Tampa art therapy summit

    Veterans

    TAMPA — Second lady Karen Pence will visit The David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday to address advocates of art therapy programs for military members and families.