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City commission tackles homelessness issue, updates COVID-19 vaccination progress

Posted at 7:24 PM, Feb 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-10 19:24:06-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Wednesday commissioners took on two pressing issues, COVID-19 vaccinations and the growing homeless issue in Tallahassee.

In the update to the city, Leon county health director Claudia Blackburn and Tallahassee Fire Chief Jerome Brown say they are on the right track to vaccinate people but are looking to see vaccinations increase.

More than 30,000 people in Leon County have been vaccinated.

This includes 50 percent of the county's senior population, which is the highest in the state.

Local firefighters also helping in the vaccination effort, as local communities prepare to get more supplies soon with Johnson and Johnson's vaccine seeking emergency approval.

Another issue finding a solution to the growing homeless problem and addressing a shelter that has caused some controversy.

More than 20 people addressed the commission on the City Walk Urban Mission's Shelter on Mahan Drive near Capital Circle Northeast.

It opened last November and partnered with the Big Bend Continuum of Care as a cold night shelter.

The city says it was notified a month later and that the shelter was operating without the proper permits.

Since then the shelter has been working with the city to file the proper permits.

Commissioner Curtis Richardson toured the facility today and says he hopes they can find a solution because the need is great during the pandemic.

"Our community partners who are hoping to address the issue of homelessness in our community can come together and develop a comprehensive plan. It's a growing issue in our community," said Richardson.

So far the city has allocated around $3.8 million dollars for homeless prevention and emergency shelter.

Commissioners did not make a decision on what to do about the shelter at Wednesday's meeting.