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Despite Shelter Openings, Volusia Homeless Stay Outside County Building

Photo: Renata Sago.

Salvation Army workers say they hope to fill all 46 cots at their emergency shelter in Daytona Beach tonight. That’s after some sat empty last night while the county’s homeless continued to camp in front the administration center on Beach Street.

Tony Deobil, director of social services for the county’s Salvation Army, says his team is getting people into rehabilitation and finding them apartments.

“Folks that really want the help and need the help, we will be able to help,” he says. “Those that want to stay out there. That’s their prerogative, and that’s between them and the city and them and the county.”

Up to 130 men and women have camped in front of the administration center in the past month. Some are in wheelchairs; some have pets. Others are couples who don’t want to be separated.

Homeless advocates say the Salvation Army’s emergency shelter will not solve homelessness. Some of them are asking city officials to re-open Manatee Island, a city park, where the homeless had slept before.

Minister Michael Pastore says residents and business owners are seeking solutions outside of Daytona.

“They want to remove them from the city center and send them outside the city limits.”

Pastore is asking officials to turn vacant buildings into housing. He says the long-term solution is to build a regional shelter with 250 beds.

Volusia County has proposed to spend $4 million on a facility. It’s location and opening date are yet to be determined.

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About Renata Sago

Renata Sago