DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - It will likely be at least two more years before Daytona Beach has its own homeless shelter.
Channel 9 has done more than 30 stories on the problems the numerous delays have caused for those who need a place to sleep; and business owners, who said that homeless people hanging around their store fronts have hurt business.
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“It’s a huge issue because they come down to the park, and it’s like their house and they do whatever they want to do,” said Richard Douglas, the manager of Christina’s Beachwear.
Douglas and many others who work near the boardwalk said drugs, alcohol and vandalism—like store windows that were broken last week---are major problems for business.
“We have tourists come in all the time, saying that they were in the bathroom and there are homeless people in there shooting drugs, and there’s needles in there,” Douglas said.
The city planned to have a homeless shelter open by next month, but the project was delayed until the summer.
Now, the shelter’s architect said, that’s when the design should be finalized, but lights won’t be on for at least two more years.
“I don’t think they’re making it a priority like they should be,” said Douglas.
In early 2016, dozens of homeless people were living outside a county building.
Boardwalk shop employees said the city dealt with the problem when it was on its own doorstep, but they don’t feel like the city cared enough anymore.
“If they can’t get the shelter built in a timely manner, then they need to allocate a little bit more personnel out here on the beach for us,” Douglas.
Channel 9 contacted city leaders for comment, but has not heard back.
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