As Tampa broke for a holiday week, Mayor Bob Buckhorn paused from wrangling a water deal with St. Pete, to tweet-chide a homeless organization just days before Thanksgiving.
Buckhorn has long been a critic of Trinity Cafe's policing of the area around its service center on Nebraska Avenue in V.M Ybor. City Council members have also been less than thrilled with the trash and defecation occurring in the surrounding neighborhood.
"That's a rising neighborhood and there are people defecating on porches and in yards, on private residences," said his spokeswoman Ashley Bauman on Wednesday.
She provided a clarifying statement that the mayor made to alt-weekly Creative Loafing earlier this week as local social media and TV news stations took notice of the term-limited mayor's blunt language. Here it is:“Nonprofits providing for the needs of our less fortunate citizens fills a critical need in our community. At the same time it is important to remember that these facilities and the clients they serve need to respect the surrounding neighborhood and not become a magnet for the types of behaviors that would deteriorate the quality of life for the hardworking homeowners that live there. I am certain that the new leadership that assumes its role in January is committed to working with the neighborhood to make the appropriate changes”
A Trinity Cafe spokeswoman, Shannon Hannon Oliviero, texted the following statement Wednesday.
"Trinity Cafe has been actively engaging with our neighbors at every request in an ongoing effort to support a safer community," Oliviero wrote. "We need to work together for the betterment of our community and all the neighbors that live within it, those with homes or those without. Many of our guests live within walking distance of our locations. Many were once homeless and now have a home."