In Disney's shadow, homeless families struggle

Businesses sue Osceola County sheriff over lack of evictions

KISSIMMEE, Fla. - A growing number of families are living in hotels along U.S. 192 in Central Florida's tourist corridor because they can't afford anything else and their county has no shelters for the estimated 1,216 homeless households with children.

The problem has created a backlash among the mostly mom-and-pop businesses. Some owners are suing the Osceola County sheriff to force deputies to evict those who haven't paid or who've turned rooms into semipermanent residences.

The sheriff's office says it doesn't comment on pending litigation but in court papers calls the issue a landlord-tenant dispute, to be handled in civil court.

The issue also shines a light on the gap between those who work and live in the Disney's shadow, and the tourists who flock there.

Homeless advocates blame high rents and the service economy's low wages.

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