St. Augustine officials discuss ways to resolve homeless issue

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — A homeless camp could be coming to St. Johns County to help tackle its homeless problem, after being discussed in a recent St. Augustine Business Coalition meeting.

Action News Jax spoke with one official who says it’s the homeless situation is a problem

He also wanted to say it shouldn’t be considered a homeless camp, but a shelter although in their recent meeting that is what was discussed.

“The overall feeling downtown is one that needs to be addressed,” says Len Weeks, Chairman of the St. Augustine Business Coalition.

Weeks, says just a week ago he invited several stakeholders in St. Johns County from the Police Chief of St. Augustine and also the Sheriff of St. Johns County to discuss the homeless problem the area is currently seeing.

“What many people in our downtown both residents, business owners, and visitors perceive in our downtown, that is a proliferation of people that sit and hang out on the street all day long,” says Weeks.

Right now, the county is looking for solutions when it comes to this problem.

One thing that was discussed during the meeting was a potential homeless camp for those who are homeless.

Weeks says the City Manager talked about potential ideas the city is looking into.

“That they are looking at some property to perhaps set up an area where people can find, receive services, have medical attention perhaps have some career services,” says Weeks.

“I think it’s a good idea, try it, try it,” says Jack Murr Jr.

Murr Jr, is homeless and lives in the St. Augustine community.

He says every night it’s tough for him to know where he is going to lay his head and a place for homeless people like himself to stay would help

“Anything is better than nothing, they haven’t done nothing. This is a dead end, this is a road to nowhere.

Murr Jr. says the scary part about being homeless in this area, is every day you see new faces, which means the population continues to grow.

“Every day in town, every day you will see new people every single day,” says Murr Jr.

This was just a discussion nothing has been approved or finalized by the city.

We did reach out to the St. Johns County Sheriff to see if we could speak with him about this.

His assistant says he wasn’t available today.

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