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Volusia Cities Consider Countywide Commission On Homelessness

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A homeless encampment in Daytona Beach. Photo: Renata Sago.

A homeless encampment in Daytona Beach. Photo: Renata Sago.

On Monday, representatives from cities across Volusia County will consider forming a commission on homelessness. Advocates say it will end the area’s homeless problem by bringing groups in the public and private sectors together.

The proposal comes less than two weeks after the city of Daytona Beach moved 90 men and women from cots outside a county building into emergency shelter. Advocates say that gave them momentum, and a revelation: a long-term solution to end homelessness is going to take some help from a coalition of government officials, non-profit leaders, and the private sector.

Chet Bell, retired chief executive officer of Stewart-Marchman-Act Behavioral Health Care, said the county will be able to open a 24-hour shelter and implement policy decisions with help from private and public actors.

“Historically, it’s kind of been the responsibility of a few non-profit providers and has not had as much support and backing as is necessary to deal with a problem like this, from both the government and the private sectors,” said Bell.

The commission would include a group of twenty people who currently receive funding from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development.

The recommendation is the result of a year’s worth of research.

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About Renata Sago

Renata Sago