Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Out of sight, out of mind?

May 18 2009
A Florida property developer has unveiled plans to give rough sleepers their own resort A property developer in Daytona Beach, Florida, has unveiled plans to give rough sleepers their own resort. Michael Arth says removing 2,700 homeless people from affluent suburbs to a 125-acre site near the local prison will solve what he dubbed a "vagrancy problem". He claimed that this "permanent and compassionate solution" would be a cheaper alternative to imprisonment for illegal vagrancy or re-homing. However, critics claim the separation of residents is akin to Soviet gulags. The plans outline a 5,600-bed village of bungalows, communal gardens and a pool, as well as counselling and job training, at a total cost forecast at $50m (£25.33m). The idea has earned mixed reactions from local charities. "I have concerns about creating a gulag for homeless people who are not integrated into society, of essentially sending them to a reservation to live," Lindsay Roberts, the executive director of the Volusia-Flagler Coalition for the Homeless, told a local paper. But she added that the scale of the problem was such that the plan was a step in the right direction. The Daytona Beach police chief has become so desperate that he recently proposed offering rough sleepers free bus tickets out of the city.