DeSantis Signs Bill Barring Homeless From Setting Up Encampments On Public Property

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Wednesday making it illegal for homeless encampments to be on public property, according to a press release.

The bill, HB 1365, was introduced in January by Republican Rep. Sam Garrison and passed by the Florida House of Representatives on March 5 by a 27 to 12 vote along party lines. DeSantis said that the Sunshine State would not be like New York or California and impede on the “quality of life” of its citizens by allowing the homeless crisis to spiral out of control, according to the press release. (RELATED: San Francisco Sued By Residents In Crime-Ridden Neighborhood Over Poor Conditions)

“Florida will not allow homeless encampments to intrude on its citizens or undermine their quality of life like we see in states like New York and California,” DeSantis said in a statement. “The legislation I signed today upholds our commitment to law and order while also ensuring homeless individuals have the resources they need to get back on their feet.”

I was glad to sign HB 1365, which:

– Prohibits camping on city streets, sidewalks, and parks
– Creates enforcement tools to ensure local governments comply with the law
– Ensures homeless shelters provide drug abuse and mental health counseling alternatives for when shelters…

— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) March 20, 2024

The new law, which is set to go into effect on Oct 1, prohibits homeless encampments on “city streets, sidewalks, and parks” and requires that homeless individuals are placed in shelters “monitored by law enforcement agencies,” according to the press release. The bill gives the state the ability to ensure that local governments obey and comply with the new mandate.

Additionally, individuals placed in shelters will be required to be off of drugs and the shelters must provide ” substance abuse and mental health treatments,” according to the press release. In the event that shelters are full, the state may permit “temporary campsites” provided they “maintain sanitation, including access to clean and operable restrooms and running water” as well as bar any alcohol consumption or drug abuse.

Opponents of the bill claimed it would just hide the homeless problem from the public instead of solving the problem, according to CBS News.

“This bill does not and it will not address the more pressing and root cause of homelessness,” Democratic state Sen. Shevrin Jones said in a debate over the bill, CBS reported. “We are literally reshuffling the visibility of unhoused individuals with no exit strategy for people who are experiencing homelessness.”

However, a similar resolution was passed in Miami Beach in 2023 and has seen improvement on the issue as a result, according to CBS.

“It helps people. It’s increasing funding for shelters,” Miami Beach Mayor Stephen Meiner said. “It’s increasing funding for mental health treatment. It’s increasing funding for substance abuse treatment. This will absolutely help people.”

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact [email protected].