Not a solution

Look, the problem of homelessness is an intractable one, and it's often worse in south Florida than in other places because our climate makes it possible to live without shelter for much of the year. But this is not a way to address the problem.

The proposed ordinance outlaws sleeping outdoors on public or private property without permission of the property owner. It also forbids carrying on cooking activities, making a fire, doing any digging or earth-breaking activities, urinating or defecating on public or private property without permission.

First-time violators would have the option of being taken to a homeless shelter. Repeat offenders could be fined up to $500 and jailed for 60 days.

Only those who carry proper ID and are not taking drugs or doing alcohol could opt to go to a shelter.

Under the proposed ordinance, anyone who does not qualify for placement at a shelter would get a notice to appear in court to answer to the code violation.
Let's be clear about what's going on here. Davie has decided that rather than deal with the actual problem with homelessness inside its limits, it would rather push the problem off onto the neighboring towns. Homeless people, once they've been harassed, will find ways to get to Dania or Plantation or Fort Lauderdale. Others will be in shelters for a while, but the ID requirement and the alcohol ban will severely limit the number able to take advantage of that option.

In the meantime, some group that advocates for the homeless will sue Davie, and the Town Council will burn money that could be used on just about anything else defending a law that doesn't really serve any purpose other than to make the lives of some already downtrodden people even more miserable. And nothing will change, not in the short term, and probably not in the long term either, because there's no real effort to even make affordable housing an option down here, much less housing for the homeless. There's little political will and even less money to bring about change on this, and that says loads about us as a community.

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