DeSantis Passes Controversial New Homeless Bill

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

( – Last Wednesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a bill that would ban homeless encampments in public spaces. 

In a statement DeSantis argued that in Florida homeless people would not be allowed to camp in public spaces and intrude on the lives of citizens, undermining their quality of life in the way that they have done in California and New York. He added that the legislation he had signed showed their commitment to law and order and to making sure that those who are homeless would have the necessary resources to “get back on their feet.” 

Bill H.B. 1365 is going to take effect on Oct. 1. Under this legislation homeless people would be prohibited from camping on sidewalks, city streets, or in parks. Instead, law enforcement agencies are going to monitor the shelters where the homeless individuals will be placed. 

It would also require municipalities to create spaces that are specifically available for sleeping and camping in cases where the homeless shelters are full. These spaces are going to be required to have running water, and restrooms that are “clean and operable.” 

Security will also be required to be present at the sites at all times, and access to health services, as well as resources for substance abuse treatment and mental health resources, will be required to be available. Alcohol and drug usage will not be tolerated at all and officials will need to “enforce this prohibition.” 

While Florida is the third most populous state in the United States there are no Florida cities in the top 10 of homeless population. 

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