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Palm Beach County commissioners approve relocation of homeless from John Prince Park

Homeless camp at John Prince Park
Posted at 10:53 AM, Feb 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-25 18:57:34-05

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Palm Beach County commissioners voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve a plan to relocate homeless people currently living in tents at John Prince Park to a new temporary shelter.

Over the past few weeks, county leaders went to John Prince Park in suburban Lake Worth to assess the needs of the more than 100 people living in tents out there.

The county voted Tuesday to use a former correctional facility, located at 673 Fairgrounds Rd. near the South Florida Fairgrounds in suburban West Palm Beach, as a temporary shelter.

The 17-acre compound is currently vacant but is being maintained for future use, according to the county.

The facility would provide 100 to 125 beds of emergency shelter with a goal to find permanent housing for those staying there. It would also provide a resource center, medical care, behavioral care, job readiness, transportation, food, laundry, and 24-hour security.

County officials said people will not be forced to use the shelter once it opens. Only those that want help and seek assistance will be able to use the facility.

Officials expect the shelter to be open and operational in four to six weeks.

Residents in the Bella Terra community, which is near the facility, told commissioners on Tuesday they're worried their property values will drop once the shelter opens.