Friday, May 25, 2018
Editorials

Hillsborough forces join to fight homelessness

Hillsborough is finally coming to terms with having the most homeless of any county in the state. A group of public officials and business leaders is looking at ways to serve the chronically homeless by providing them with temporary housing and a host of other services, from job training to substance abuse counseling. This comprehensive approach is the only one that works, and the county must demonstrate a sustained commitment to turn around this pressing problem.

Two years after torpedoing an offer by Catholic Charities to build a tent city for the homeless, the county is exploring a public-private venture that could easily be the most ambitious of its kind in Hillsborough's history. The idea is to combine housing with social services that already exist, thereby giving people the sort of stable and healthy environment they need to maintain a home, hold down a job and otherwise function in society.

The effort is in its early stages, and it's too soon to determine if the initiative will gain speed, much less make a serious dent in the county's homeless problem. But it's bringing together major players in the community — from city, county and school officials to business leaders — like never before. Hillsborough's homeless population of 10,000 is twice that of other major counties like Miami-Dade or Pinellas. Yet no local official has seriously addressed this issue since then-Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio tried to start a discussion last decade. The tent city concept was not ideal, but it forced the county, which has legal responsibility for caring for the homeless, to deal with the growing problem.

Having government and the private sector as partners is the right approach at the outset. Homelessness is a visible civic problem that impacts not only those on the street, but police, neighborhoods, social services, businesses, hospitals and the schools. By working together, the public and private sectors can share the costs and deal more effectively with the root causes that have driven so many from their homes, jobs and families.

Commissioners Victor Crist, Al Higginbotham and Mark Sharpe should join Sandra Murman in pushing the county to take a forceful lead. The county wiped its hands of the problem after killing the tent city, and it has an obligation not to spurn help from the private sector a second time around.

Comments
Editorial: Welcome Bayshore changes still canít stop bad judgment

Editorial: Welcome Bayshore changes still canít stop bad judgment

Itís human nature in following any tragedy to imagine: How could this have been prevented? On that score, the city of Tampa responded appropriately to the deaths this week of a mother and her toddler whom police say were hit by a teenage driver racin...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Editorial: Filling Rocky Point lagoon to build townhomes is an empty-headed idea

Editorial: Filling Rocky Point lagoon to build townhomes is an empty-headed idea

One of the worst ideas in a long time in the field of urban planning received a blessing this month when the Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission approved a land-use change for a project that calls for filling three acres of water insi...
Published: 05/25/18
Editorial: Searching for the real Adam Putnam

Editorial: Searching for the real Adam Putnam

Send out an Amber Alert for Adam Putnam. The red-haired, affable fellow who has served capably as a state legislator, member of Congress and agriculture commissioner is missing. In his place is a far-right caricature who has branded himself as a prou...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Editorial: A strong economic case for restoring voting rights for felons

Editorial: A strong economic case for restoring voting rights for felons

Floridians are paying a steep price for a system that makes it as difficult as possible for people who leave prison to reintegrate into civic life. Gov. Rick Scottís clemency process isnít just archaic and cruel ó it also wastes enormous public resou...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Editorial: Trump right to cancel North Korea talks on nuclear weapons

Editorial: Trump right to cancel North Korea talks on nuclear weapons

Regardless of the reason, the cancellation of the U.S.-North Korea summit to address Pyonyangís nuclear program is hardly the worst possible outcome of this high-stakes diplomatic gamble. President Donald Trump was unprepared, North Koreaís Kim Jong ...
Published: 05/24/18
Updated: 05/25/18

NFL kneels before the altar of profits

The owners of the 32 National Football League teams sent a wrongheaded and, frankly, un-American message to their players Wednesday: Expressing your opinion during the national anthem is no longer permitted."A club will be fined by the League if its ...
Published: 05/24/18

Editorial: A positive first step in ensuring student access at USFSP

As a task force sorts out countless details involved in folding the University of South Florida St. Petersburg back into the major research university based in Tampa, ensuring access for good Pinellas students remains a concern. An enhanced cooperati...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Editorial: Banks still need watching after easing Dodd-Frank rules

Editorial: Banks still need watching after easing Dodd-Frank rules

Legislation that waters down the 2010 Dodd-Frank law and was sent to President Donald Trump this week is a mixed bag at best. Some provisions recognize that Congress may have gone too far in some areas in the wake of the Great Recession to place new ...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/24/18
Editorial: Honoring our fallen soldiers on Memorial Day

Editorial: Honoring our fallen soldiers on Memorial Day

The rising tensions with Iran, the resurgence of violence in the Mideast and the uncertainty over a nuclear disarmament deal with North Korea combine to create an unsettling time this Memorial Day. These grave threats to peace are another reminder of...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Another voice: The chutzpah of these men

A new phase of the #MeToo movement may be upon us. Call it the "not so fast" era: Powerful men who plotted career comebacks mere months after being taken down by accusations of sexual misconduct now face even more alarming claims.Mario Batali, the ce...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/23/18