What makes Fort Lauderdale a city that anyone would want to live in or be a part? This is a city with political leadership that over and over again proves itself offended by the needs of its most needy. Fort Lauderdale has a way to deal with those who may be described as “the least of us”; those with few resources and little political power. There was the shame of Fort Lauderdale’s “Tent City” that lasted for five years in the 1990’s offering no services and parking lot like spaces on bare asphalt for the homeless. That blight ended in 1998 by a city imposed shutdown. Broward County had opened a homeless shelter.
The City Commission remains a morally challenged elected institution. There was the recent solution to the homelessness problem by passing an ordinance that would allow the city to confiscate private property from homeless people. The new ordinance also enables the city to arrest its own homeless citizens to get them off the streets. No the city will not provide social or vocational services, a shelter or a nutrition program. The solution to homelessness in Fort Lauderdale is to drive these impoverished people out.
It does not end there. The City Commission is engaged in a continuing battle to keep the Henderson Mental Health Center from building a facility in the City. They are engaged in the same effort to drive off BARC, the addictions recovery program operated by Broward County. It would be the same for the Sexual Assault Recovery Center if it were not being used as leverage to prevent BARC from the same large property to place their new recovery center. These facilities are all proposed for properties that are properly zoned and that are not in residential areas. There is minimal neighborhood opposition for any of these worthy projects. There is just the heartless City Commission that does not want to see services for the most needy among us to be served in their city.