DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Dozens of homeless people who were seen camping underneath Daytona Beach's iconic Main Street Pier last summer, are now gone, thanks to a new fence.
It's the latest battleground in a lengthy back and forth between Volusia County and Daytona Beach leaders and the homeless.
The pier is now fenced off with an orange mesh-like netting that's wrapped around its pillars that is more than 6 feet high.
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While it's not a permanent fixture, it seems to be keeping the homeless out from under the pier for now.
On this cold, brisk January day you'll only catch a few tourists and their families walking along Daytona Beach.
But underneath the Main Street Pier you will not find a soul.
It's a much different picture than what WFTV’s Mike Springer found in July. At that time, there were dozens of people camped out under the pier.
There also was trash everywhere, compared with Thursday where the same area is spotless.
There's only orange netting around the portion of the pier where the homeless used to stay.
Businesses had complained about the homeless under the pier harassing their employees and customers.
The city put up the netting earlier this month because it said it's unsafe for anyone to be staying there.
Parts of the concrete underneath the pier is cracked and falling off, exposing pieces of rebar.
It's a potential liability to the city and a danger to thoes who venture under the pier, but a risk some homeless said they must take.
The city began strictly enforcing trespassing rules last year that forced the homeless out of public spaces like parks and the boardwalk.
And the homeless shelter the city has been trying to build since 2016 is still almost a year away from being done.
The city does not know how long it plans to keep the netting up.
Officials said the 100-bed shelter it is building should be operational by Thanksgiving.
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