Homeless tent city eviction on hold

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SARASOTA, Fla. -  Residents of a tent city in Sarasota were ordered to leave the property on 10th Way near Gillespie Park by Monday at midnight, but city commissioners decided late to not follow through with the decision for now.

During Monday night's meeting, commissioners voted against following an ordinance that forbids people from sleeping outdoors without the property owner's permission. 

The City Commission and community leaders took the time to discuss the activities of homeless outreach teams and Dr. Robert Marbut's recommendations.

The main issue in contention, whether the eviction carried out by the Sarasota Police Department is consistent with Dr. Marbut's plan to have a proper shelter in before moving the homeless from their current locations.  The Sarasota Police Department presented its reports saying it is for the safety of the homeless, both from substance abuse and crime, and to protect the homeless from poor health conditions at the camp.  The Salvation Army and SPD planned to offer shelter for at least 30 days, free of charge.

Monday's vote also allows commissioners to seek a written response from Dr. Marbut on how to handle safety issues, possibly in the next two weeks.  Dr. Marbut will be back in Sarasota April 7th.