Wednesday, July 19, 2017

From reporter Skylar Swisher. . . just in case you missed this news yesterday.

News in the Sun Sentinel about John Prince Park titled, “Palm Beach County looks to boost park patrols”.

Will a new County homeless shelter be constructed near John Prince Park?

It’s very possible. To read the entire article in the Sun Sentinel use this link.

About the reporter:

Skyler Swisher is a reporter covering Palm Beach County government. Before joining the Sun Sentinel, he wrote about health care for The Daytona Beach News-Journal. A native of Memphis, he is a graduate of the University of Tennessee.

To contact the reporter:

  • Call 561-243-6634
  • Email:
  • Twitter: @SkylerSwisher

Here are excerpts from the recent news by Mr. Swisher [footnotes added with additional information]:

     John Prince Park, sprawling over 726 acres near Lake Worth,* is a popular spot for joggers, campers and homeless people, who congregate underneath shady pavilions. Some sleep there overnight when the well-known park is closed.
     The county’s budget would allocate $135,000 next year for off-duty deputies to patrol parks.
     Those dollars would be used to add overnight policing at John Prince Park and to strengthen law enforcement’s presence at other popular parks during busy holiday weekends, Parks Director Eric Call said.

and. . .

     About 30 homeless people were in John Park Prince during the most recent count, Call said.
     “I don’t want it to be a situation where we are finding needles and other types of things there and criminal elements are preying on this vulnerable population,” [emphasis added] he said.
     Commissioner Dave Kerner said he requested the additional money because of complaints about people using the bathroom in public at John Prince Park, hanging up laundry and leaving trash. He said he’s also concerned about sexual assault and other crimes that occur in the homeless community.
     “This is more to ensure the safety of park visitors,” he said.

and. . .

     Palm Beach County has a homeless shelter in West Palm Beach§ that offers 20 beds for women and 40 for men. A 1-cent sales tax increase will provide funding for the county to open another homeless shelter near the park, Kerner said.

*Take note: This reporter from the Sun Sentinel reports accurately John Prince Park is “near Lake Worth”, a concept lost on many local reporters from the press and news media here in Central PBC.
Twenty-four hour homeless “point-in-time count” conducted on January 26th.
Dave Kerner is the District 3 Palm Beach County Commissioner.
§Senator Philip D. Lewis Center for the homeless.