The Jaxson

Jacksonville by Neighborhood => Downtown => Topic started by: 77danj7 on January 13, 2020, 10:13:30 AM

Title: Increase in Homeless downtown?
Post by: 77danj7 on January 13, 2020, 10:13:30 AM
We've lived in Springfield for 16 years so we've been around for a while downtown-ish.  But has there been a recent drop off of hundreds of new homeless people downtown lately?  When you drive down State Street towards the 95 Exit and look down Julia, Pearl, Jefferson etc it's just a sidewalk of trash everywhere (and I mean piles of trash) and loads of people/camps.  When driving down State with our kids this weekend we saw 2 guys pissing on the side of the road with their junk fully exposed. 

Title: Re: Recent Homeless Drop Off?
Post by: Kerry on January 13, 2020, 10:30:41 AM
It took me awhile to understand your post.  I thought you meant the number of homeless had dropped, but what you really were asking is if someone dropped off a bunch of homeless.

Maybe closing the Landing caused a migration shift.
Title: Re: Increase in Homeless downtown?
Post by: 77danj7 on January 13, 2020, 10:36:58 AM
Sorry - words are not my specialty lol

It just seems like the trash and camps have really increased especially closer to those main roads.  Could be a shift from closer to the river to more in town with the landing etc
Title: Re: Increase in Homeless downtown?
Post by: Peter Griffin on January 13, 2020, 10:43:14 AM
I understood your post just fine. I don't THINK there's been a bussing of homeless to the city, but if there was it would likely be hush-hush and not well advertised. There are theories about bussing homeless to other cities, though, so your thoughts may be based in some reality.

*puts conspiracy hat on*
Title: Re: Increase in Homeless downtown?
Post by: Kerry on January 13, 2020, 10:46:16 AM
It could also be winter migration.  Who wants to be homeless in Chicago in winter.
Title: Re: Increase in Homeless downtown?
Post by: Tacachale on January 13, 2020, 10:48:40 AM
Only trend I've noticed recently, other than the typical winter rush, is more panhandling in 5 Points. But that has more to do with the Chaddening of 5 Points and influx of people with disposable income than anything else.
Title: Re: Increase in Homeless downtown?
Post by: Bill Hoff on January 13, 2020, 02:06:43 PM
A few related points:

Homeless people are definitely bussed (or vanned) to Jax from elsewhere. At least one of our Downtown shelters actually does this, bringing people here to Jax.

Currently, the Homeward Bound program (where Sulzbacher/JSO pays to send people back "home") is not funded and inactive. That needs to change ASAP.

There are less shelter beds available in Jax than there were a couple years ago. So, even if the same number of homeless people are here, there are less shelter beds for them.

Jacksonville has a reputation for being accommodating to homeless people. We're the final destination for homeless around the Southeast Georgia/Northeast Florida. Neighboring counties have intentionally limited their resources through the years to funnel people here.

Changing Homelessness, the area's homeless umbrella org of record, predicts they'll see an increase of homeless people when they conduct the annual Point in Time count (aka homeless census) on Jan 22nd.
Title: Re: Increase in Homeless downtown?
Post by: vicupstate on January 13, 2020, 02:33:34 PM
Quote
Homeless people are definitely bussed (or vanned) to Jax from elsewhere. At least one of our Downtown shelters actually does this, bringing people here to Jax.

Any actual proof of this, because I have heard it said about many cities, but no one has actually put their name to it or given proof. 
Title: Re: Increase in Homeless downtown?
Post by: fieldafm on January 13, 2020, 03:45:28 PM
I'll cede to Bill's prediction that the impending homeless survey being conducted this month will show an increase in numbers, as he works with these providers on a daily basis.

As to why downtown looks more besieged with transient residents than at any point in recent memory? From the perspective of this downtown resident and business owner, it has a lot to do with the fact that during daylight hours on weekends, there is virtually zero foot traffic downtown ever since the Landing was closed. Its as a depressing scene now than it has been since I was in high school. If you'd like to know what it looked like then, these pictures depict the scenes quite well: https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/a-blast-from-the-past-1990s-downtown-jacksonville/ (https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/a-blast-from-the-past-1990s-downtown-jacksonville/) )

The Landing, even in a less than optimal shape, drew far more people downtown than most realized.
Title: Re: Increase in Homeless downtown?
Post by: Kerry on January 13, 2020, 03:52:23 PM
I'll cede to Bill's prediction that the impending homeless survey being conducted this month will show an increase in numbers, as he works with these providers on a daily basis.

As to why downtown looks more besieged with transient residents than at any point in recent memory? From the perspective of this downtown resident and business owner, it has a lot to do with the fact that during daylight hours on weekends, there is virtually zero foot traffic downtown ever since the Landing was closed. Its as a depressing scene now than it has been since I was in high school. If you'd like to know what it looked like then, these pictures depict the scenes quite well: https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/a-blast-from-the-past-1990s-downtown-jacksonville/ (https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/a-blast-from-the-past-1990s-downtown-jacksonville/) )

The Landing, even in a less than optimal shape, drew far more people downtown than most realized.

Omega Man was filmed in Jax?
Title: Re: Increase in Homeless downtown?
Post by: I-10east on January 13, 2020, 07:05:28 PM
I understood your post just fine. I don't THINK there's been a bussing of homeless to the city, but if there was it would likely be hush-hush and not well advertised. There are theories about bussing homeless to other cities, though, so your thoughts may be based in some reality.

*puts conspiracy hat on*

Bussing homeless from city to city is definitely NOT a conspiracy theory, it has happened multiple times before.
https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/03/us/newark-new-york-homeless-trnd/index.html
Title: Re: Increase in Homeless downtown?
Post by: Bill Hoff on January 13, 2020, 10:45:18 PM
I'll cede to Bill's prediction that the impending homeless survey being conducted this month will show an increase in numbers, as he works with these providers on a daily basis.

I'm simply echoing the prediction of Changing Homelessness.

CEO Dawn Gilman said she expects the number of “unsheltered” people to rise in this year’s count, “based on what we see on the streets.”

From:
https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20200108/jacksonvilles-homelessness-prevention-nonprofit-seeking-volunteers-for-census
Title: Re: Increase in Homeless downtown?
Post by: bl8jaxnative on January 16, 2020, 03:54:52 PM
The Landing, even in a less than optimal shape, drew far more people downtown than most realized.

As I downtown resident I disagree.  It may have brought some folks to a place where you noticed them.    Downtown was a ghost-town on weekends when The Landing was open, too. 
Title: Re: Increase in Homeless downtown?
Post by: fieldafm on January 16, 2020, 04:22:46 PM
The Landing, even in a less than optimal shape, drew far more people downtown than most realized.

As I downtown resident I disagree.  It may have brought some folks to a place where you noticed them.    Downtown was a ghost-town on weekends when The Landing was open, too.

Saying foot traffic is dramatically down, which is true in every sense of the word, doesn't equate to me saying that foot traffic was bustling 8 months ago. I'm describing an environment that already was suffering, and is now suffering even more so since the closure of the Landing. 

Walk along Laura, Bay, Forsyth, Hogan, etc and nearly every parking meter is open on a Saturday and Sunday before 5pm. Those meters used to be full on the weekends. Start talking to business owners (like me) and you'll find that the number of customers have dropped precipitously.  By every measure, foot traffic has dropped since the Landing closed.




Title: Re: Increase in Homeless downtown?
Post by: Adam White on January 16, 2020, 04:33:09 PM
The Landing, even in a less than optimal shape, drew far more people downtown than most realized.

As I downtown resident I disagree.  It may have brought some folks to a place where you noticed them.    Downtown was a ghost-town on weekends when The Landing was open, too.

Saying foot traffic is dramatically down, which is true in every sense of the word, doesn't equate to me saying that foot traffic was bustling 8 months ago. I'm describing an environment that already was suffering, and is now suffering even more so since the closure of the Landing. 

Walk along Laura, Bay, Forsyth, Hogan, etc and nearly every parking meter is open on a Saturday and Sunday before 5pm. Those meters used to be full on the weekends. Start talking to business owners (like me) and you'll find that the number of customers have dropped precipitously.  By every measure, foot traffic has dropped since the Landing closed.

The fewer non-homeless people downtown makes the homeless population seem more prominent. If downtown was healthy and full of people on a regular basis, people probably wouldn't even notice the homeless people.
Title: Re: Increase in Homeless downtown?
Post by: AdamsOnAdams on January 17, 2020, 10:03:29 AM
I have lived downtown for a little over a year now and lived in Springfield for the 7 years immediately prior to that, so I have and have had an up close view of the homeless situation in Jax for many years now and can tell you the overall problem is getting worse, not better. There are more homeless people wandering the streets or camping in the parking garages or on sidewalks at night than there were when I first moved to the urban core. As far as specific reasons why, I’d go with what Bill Hoff said earlier in this thread. My question is, is there currently any focus at all on this issue from COJ government or Curry Administration? When I say focus, I don’t mean just funding shelters and keeping them open. I mean are there smart people who meet regularly and have some ability to take actions currently working on solving or at least improving the situation? If not, why?