DODGING PANHANDLERS AND PEOPLE SLEEPING ON SIDEWALKS MAKES OUR CITY FEEL UNSAFE.
Not soon enough, we'll be opening The First Step Shelter, a come-as-you-are, 24/7 shelter with about 100 beds and services for people who are homeless. This is a lopsided partnership with Volusia County and surrounding cities where Daytona Beach is bearing too much of the financial burden. Whatever that balance, Daytona Beach needs this shelter to succeed.
The First Step Shelter alone will not solve the problem. We need a permanent Safe Zone near the shelter to host people who are homeless and do NOT want any services or shelter. This will keep them from living on our streets and sidewalks. There will be challenges to make sure those in the Safe Zone are actually homeless and that it is a safe space.
We will also need a Second Step, permanent supportive housing for those who may not be able to "graduate" to full independent living. The First Step Shelter board is working to welcome Soldier On! to our community to develop that Second Step. Development done by Solder On! will have it's own sources of funding and support.
One critical problem we face is how are we going to handle the citizens of our community who are working and just not making enough to pay rent. Where are they going to go once they've become homeless and enter the shelter? They may be ready to "graduate" but there may be no place for them to live.