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Fort Lauderdale Commission Agrees to Cover One-Way Bus Tickets for the Homeless

The Fort Lauderdale Commission approved a $25,000 program yesterday to bus homeless people out of town, with the intent to get them back together with family and friends.

Commissioners voted 4-1 to approve the "Homeless Outreach Unification Program," which uses funding from the state law enforcement trust fund.

As the vote implies, not everyone was on board with this idea.

Vice Mayor Bobby DuBose noted that several other cities around the country have a similar program, effectively setting up a nationwide bus tour for homeless people.

He reiterated that he's definitely in favor of helping out the homeless, but said, "I think we can do better than just trying to kick the can down the road."

Broward apparently uses this program, lining up between five and 10 trips per week, although the county currently have a backlog of around 100 people who want to be bussed elsewhere.

Commissioner Charlotte Rodstrom said they should treat this $25,000 program more as a "study," and kind of see what happens with it. Rodstrom argued that the law enforcement trust fund has to be used very specifically, and the homeless-bussing fits the bill.

Rodstrom also said the commission wanted to do this same thing around 15-20 years ago, but "they didn't do it because it got in the press and it was such a bad article."

The program was approved, and DuBose cast the only dissenting vote.


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