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Palm Beach County looking for solution to homeless living in tents in John Prince Park

Posted at 10:07 PM, Feb 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-12 22:09:49-05

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — This has been Erica Edler's home the past three weeks, two tents tied together. "This is where I sit and bathe. I sit on a milk crate so that I can wash my feet and my hair. And I use milk jugs with water to warm up in the sun and that's how i take care of my hygiene."

The county says about 140 people live here in tents at John Prince Park.

Wednesday morning, Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner talked with the homeless as the assessment took place at the pavilion.

"Today we have county staff from our health and human services department, they are doing an assessment. It's an opportunity for our staff to sit down with the homeless population and find out what the needs are of that specific person because oftentimes there's a cascade of issues in someone's life. there's mental health issues, there's substance abuse lack of access to employment."

The county is trying to find how they can help the homeless get back on their feet again. There have been complaints from park goers and homeowners who see people sleeping near the playground and using the splash park to bathe.

Kerner said, "If we are going to move them from the park and re-locating them somewhere else that's probably safer, that's a more cohesive unit that can access more services quickly, then we need to do this leg work up front to find out exactly what we are dealing with."

County Mayor Kerner says information gathered today will be used to put together a 90-day re-location plan.