Volusia, Flagler city leaders meet at Daytona State to discuss homelessness

City leaders and nonprofit organizations from Volusia and Flagler counties met at Daytona State College to discuss how to end homelessness.

Officials said this meeting has been planned for months and could not have come at a better time, after city commissioners turned down the plan of a temporary shelter at the Armed Forces Reserve Center.

"What they were going to do for the homeless, I thought it was a wonderful thing," said Sandy, who is homeless.

Sandy and dozens of others will be forced out of the Salvation Army come next Tuesday and back onto the streets.

"I don't know what I'm going to do next," said Nicholas Divono, who is also homeless.

"To our thinking, it was a place that offered the best opportunity for us to get things done as quickly as we could," said Community Relations Manager Rev. Dr. L. Ronald Durham, 

But the commission voted against the nine-month plan after some residents argued about location, safety and property value.

"The points they made were points anyone would make that's concerned about property that they own," said Durham.

So, it's back to the drawing board for city leaders.

"There aren't specific locations necessarily, but we do have some that we are exploring options on looking into further. Obviously, getting dimensions and looking at plans to see what those buildings will cost in renovations," he said.

And, if the city doesn't act fast, it could be back to the wall at the county administration building.

"We're going to have the possibility of people being released from the Salvation Army literally with no place to go. That's something all of us are concerned about," said Durham.

City commissioners told News 6 they hope to have a new plan before Tuesday, but the city commissioners will ultimately have the final say on where the temporary shelter location will be.

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