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Palm Beach County proposes using former correctional facility to house homeless

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Posted at 6:18 AM, Feb 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-24 17:55:42-05

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — There’s a new plan on the table to help end the cycle of homelessness in Palm Beach County as part of the Leading The Way Home initiative.

RELATED: Palm Beach County commissioners approve new plan to help combat homelessness

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

On Tuesday, county commissioners are expected to discuss and possibly vote on a new plan that would relocate those living in tents to a new temporary shelter.

According to documents, the county is proposing using a former correctional facility, located at 673 Fairgrounds Road 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.

The county estimates it would cost close to $5.5 million dollars a year to operate, plus almost $900,00 in start-up costs to get the building ready.

If approved, it would take six to eight weeks to get the facility ready for operation.

To see the full plan, click here.