Leaders, advocacy group discuss solutions to homelessness, police/community relations

Leaders, advocacy group discuss solutions to homelessness, police/community relations

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Three major topics for Palm Beach County’s marginalized talked with leaders who could change laws: addressing homelessness, community ID’s and police relations with the community. They met at the Palm Beach County Convention Center Monday.

On homelessness, PEACE or People Engaged in Active Community Efforts, says the here more than 4,000 children without a home in Palm Beach County.

To spur action, they invited Palm Beach County Commissioners to present their solution: speed up the construction of the county’s second homelessness shelter.

The commissioners present all agreed to but disagreed on how some money will be allocated.

The presenter asked, “Will you ensure that a minimum of half for the $25.5 million of infrastructure sales tax money goes to housing units for extremely low income and homeless people?”

County Mayor Mack Bernard replied, “Definitely, yes.”

Commissioner Gregg Weiss replied to the same question, “A teacher’s wage in Palm Beach County and having four kids is considered low income but under this proposal, she/he wouldn’t qualify as extremely low.”

On police/community relations, PEACE says thousands of Hispanics and African American Palm Beach County residents are being pulled over by police unfairly.

They presented their solution to area chiefs like Sarah Mooney from West Palm Beach-to hold officers more accountable with more thorough tracking of who they pull over-even if no citation is given.

She agreed to as she tried to open up more dialogue.

“I encourage you to come in and be the first ones to say that you had a bad experience because I can’t fix what I don’t know is broken. Even though we have an opportunity to do data research fixing it in there here and now is much more important than seeing what happens a year or two from now,” Mooney said.

Another topic: community ID’s. They’re pushing for municipalities, the school district and police agencies to accept it as a form of ID that’s easier to obtain if you’re homeless or undocumented.

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