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Miami could move homeless people to Virginia Key encampment


Miami officials may move some of the city’s homeless population to an encampment on a nearby barrier island that houses a sewage treatment plant, according to a report.

The city government is considering the proposal that would send homeless people living on the streets in densely populated areas, including Downtown, Overtown and Little Havana, to the Virginia Key encampment – one of five locations in the works. of discussion, reported the Miami Herald.

The Biscayne Bay Island site is considered the optimal option by city officials, according to the report, although the location, which is also near bike paths, has drawn opposition from a local cycling group.

Miami officials are considering sending homeless people to live in an encampment in Virginia Key.
eagle sight
Miami City Commissioner Joe Carollo speaks at the start of a meeting
Miami City Commissioner Joe Carollo proposed the Virginia Key spot.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

“Adjacent to the sewage treatment plant, there can be a foul odor, especially when there’s a westerly breeze,” cycling group Miami Bike Scene wrote on its website.

The group also argued that the site would not be in an isolated area, as the city has argued, because the location is the parking lot for a busy bike and hiking trail used by residents of the city and the tourists.

The commissioner who proposed the Virginia Key spot, Joe Carollo, has also backed other controversial plans related to the homeless population, the Miami Herald reported.

A homeless man moves his tent across the street before a street cleanup by City of Miami workers, Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021, in Miami.
Homeless people would be moved from densely populated areas, including Downtown, Overtown and Little Havana.
AP/Lynne Sladky

He led an ordinance banning encampments on public property and giving police the power to arrest homeless people if they refuse to go to a shelter.

The Herald also reported that he had proposed a resolution that would allow people he called “hypocrites” to host homeless people on the streets.

Several advocacy organizations, including the ACLU, filed a federal lawsuit weeks ago alleging the city is violating the constitutional rights of homeless people because their personal property is being destroyed while encampments are cleared, according to the Herald.

New York Post

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