Volusia County office reopens after homeless camp controversy

Location was closed after homeless gathered outside building


The Volusia County Administration Center reopened Monday after being closed because of homeless people camping outside the building.

Employees arriving for work Monday morning told News 6 that they were not permitted to discuss the issue.

A woman was asked to leave the building Sunday night by Daytona Beach police when she attempted to sleep near the bushes.

Daytona Beach Police Chief Michael Chitwood told more than 100 people on Friday to either leave and go to a shelter or be arrested.

The Salvation Army made beds available, allowing for police to arrest anyone who stayed. Chitwood said since beds were available, the homeless could be arrested based on the city's camping ordinance.

Chitwood said several officers went undercover in the homeless camp and filmed drug use, prostitution and fights. Undercover officers also spoke with people holding fake American Civil Liberties Union cards, telling the homeless that drug use was allowed on the property.

For a permanent solution, Volusia County has offered up to $4 million for a 24-hour homeless facility.
Those plans will be stalled until the city of Daytona Beach is able to come up with the operating costs for the facility.

Daytona Beach police plan to release video from their undercover operation on Tuesday.


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