DeLand city leaders approve ordinances involving homeless, belongings on public property

DELAND, Fla. — Update:

Leaders in DeLand voted to approve three proposals that will impact the city’s growing homeless population.


Each ordinance passed during its second reading.

Previous story:

More people are living on the streets of DeLand.

Between 2022 and 2023, the city’s homeless population jumped 17%, according to The Neighborhood Center of West Volusia.

Now, DeLand City Commission is considering some new ordinances that would impact the homeless population.

Channel 9′s Q McCray learned more about proposed rules that will be up for final discussion Monday evening.

One would outlaw camping on public property, another bans storing personal belongings on sidewalks, and a third prohibits sleeping on benches.

Roger Rolle has been homeless in DeLand for about a year now.

“It sucks. I didn’t always make the best decisions, but I also didn’t do anything terrible to land out here,” he told McCray.

Rolle explained the how the rising cost of living ripped away his stability, leaving him reliant on the kindness of strangers and organizations like The Neighborhood Center.

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The non-profit aims to serve the homeless, feed the hungry, and prevent future homelessness.

“We are seeing a rise in homelessness and we attribute that to the pandemic, the hurricanes we had, the cost of living, affordable housing and all of those things combined,” CEO Savannah Griffin said.

The increase has prompted some businesses owners and residents to take their concerns to City Hall.

If passed, the proposed ordinances would offer violators a chance to enter shelters like The Neighborhood Center.

If they refuse, they could be fined, or possibly arrested.

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Rolle said he believes this approach is misguided.

“I understand what they are trying to do, but I just don’t think it is a very positive way.”

When DeLand City Commission meets Monday at 7 p.m., members will review the ordinances for a second time.

Monitor for updates on this story.

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Q Mccray

Q McCray,

Q McCray is an award-winning general assignment reporter.





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