PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — The Pensacola City Council has voted to stop its eviction moratorium for homeless people living under Interstate 110 at Hollice T. Williams Park.
The current moratorium expires on Dec. 23. Mayor Grover Robinson ensured everyone at the council’s meeting Thursday night that if someone at the encampment wants to go to a shelter, the city will help them get there.
Five councilmembers voted to end the eviction moratorium on December 23rd. Councilwoman Sherri Myers and Council President Ann Hill voted to extend it again.
There are about 90 people still at the encampment, according to the city. Homeless people under the interstate will be given at least three weeks notice before they need to leave and they will be told what options they have to find shelter and mental health resources.
“Tell the people to leave,” Art Rocker said. “Provide a place where you can sort of take their names, addresses, see what their needs are and begin to work with them.”
Doug Dickerson owns a business close to where a new shelter is planned to open near Palafox Street and Maxwell Street. Many neighbors have spoken out against that location being a shelter because of its close proximity to Pensacola High School.
“I think they need a place to put them but I don’t think it needs to be in the middle of businesses where it’s going to affect our business,” Dickerson said. “It affects my business. It affects the value of my property.”
Jess Patton and many others who live close to the encampment were relieved to hear the eviction moratorium is coming to an end. She said she’s happy to learn they will get some help and the city will transition them into housing.
“It’s one thing to just go visit the camp and see what it’s like,” Patton said. “It’s another experience entirely to live next to the camp. We frequently have trespassers into our yard. We have people with clear mental health issues that are very aggressive and can even become violent, indecent exposure. We’ve had all kinds of incidents just on our property within that block.”
The mayor said he still hopes to see everyone out by mid-January.