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FAITH Leaders Continue Push For Long Term Solution For Volusia County's Homeless

Nearly 80 homeless men and women camped outside of the Volusia County Administration Center in Daytona Beach in January 2016. Photo: Renata Sago.
Nearly 90 homeless men and women are camping outside of the Volusia County Administration Center in Daytona Beach. Photo: Renata Sago.

The Daytona Beach News Journal reports the city of Daytona Beach is paying to temporarily shelter 70 people who are homeless at a pair of motels. Before that they were staying at a Salvation Army emergency shelter. Faith leaders are continuing to push for a longer term solution.

Daytona city officials, Volusia County officials and the community have been planning and debating where to put a permanent homeless shelter and services –with intensity pretty much all year long.

Pastor of Our lady of Lourdes Catholic Church Philip Egitto said some of the homeless are dealing with mental illnesses that emerged during life on the streets where food, water and sleep aren’t easy to come by.

“You need sleep and there’s no place to sleep where you may not be woken up by a policeman, so I think you tend to self-medicate with other things that are somehow available on the street whether that be alcohol or drugs, so then you begin to have drug issues,” said Egitto.

Father Egitto’s church is part of an interfaith organization called FAITH. It’s been an advocate for the homeless in Volusia County. Egitto said he’s frustrated local government officials haven’t arrived at a solution that can please everyone from the business and tourism sectors, local residents to the homeless.