Is Bradenton City Council troubled by homeless?

March 14, 2014 

The now old adage "if you build it, they will come" seems to be haunting the Bradenton City Council.

The Bill Galvano One Stop Center, a life preserver for many homeless people in search of a better life, apparently doesn't mix well with the burgeoning entertainment district just south of downtown.

The city's expressed hopes for redevelopment there is well known, from great improvements to McKechnie Field to new attractions such as the Darwin Brewing Co.

The nearby homeless center wants to renovate a bit -- not an expansion that will bring hordes of additional homeless people into Bradenton. One Stop only wants to be able to provide better medical services.

The council voted 5-0 this week to "express concern about changes there," as the Herald's James A. Jones Jr. reported.

Better medical care there should reduce emergency room visits, a drain on Manatee County's indigent care fund and a burden on hospitals. This should be a no-brainer for council approval, not rejection.

Councilman Harold Byrd opened an idea that bears repeating: "We need to start having an open discussion about how we serve the homeless population as the county moves into the future."

Indeed, we do. Those people will not simply disappear because they make some of us uncomfortable.

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