Daytona Beach leaders leave it to city manager to find housing for homeless

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — City leaders in Daytona Beach said they're getting out of the homeless business in nine days.

Seventy people are temporarily living in motels on the city's dime, but on Thursday night talks of a permanent shelter stalled.

The mayor said he would like to see a permanent solution to the homeless problem, but many of the commissioners say it's time to back off.

The city manager confirmed that’s the new plan, at least for now.

The group of homeless people was staying at the Salvation Army, but when the deadline approached for them to be out, the city forked over $25,000 to move the homeless into two motels on south Ridgewood Avenue.

The homeless people are expected to be there for 11 nights.

The problem escalated in January, as the homeless camped on public sidewalks, sending the city and county into negotiations to build a joint shelter.

Those talks failed and Daytona Beach took point on the problem, with public input and public criticism increasing every week.

This week, the city manager told the homeless, the clock isn't ticking down anymore; it has run out.

“I had the great task of having to tell them all that we're going to wind this program down in 11 days, and try to be sure that we take care of everybody that's in the city currently,” said City Manager James Chisolm.

He is working to get the 70 people into housing.

Chisolm said there is a church in Ormond Beach that will take some, and he’s trying to get housing vouchers for others.

The City Commission gave him $20,000 dollars to make it happen.

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