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Lake Ella neighbors complain of homeless solicitations

Posted at 10:17 AM, Nov 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-19 10:17:05-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Neighbors living near Lake Ella in Tallahassee say homeless people who frequent the park have started knocking on their doors and asking for hand outs.

Jeff Mandel, who lives near the lake, says, "One time someone even knocked on my door looking for work.”

While Mandel has not formally complained to the city, others say they've told Tallahassee Police Department about their safety concerns.

Thursday, we asked TPD the issue. In a written statement, TPD told ABC27 quote, “We work with the city to address homelessness, but it’s a societal issue that will take a collective effort to fix. The safety of all of our citizens is a top priority.”

County leaders are also working to address the root of the problem by connecting homeless community members with resources.

“We’re expanding services," says Leon County human services and community partnerships director Shington Lamy. "I think that’s very important, because we hear what the community is saying. And, we want to be able to engage not just the homeless population, but also neighbors and businesses, so they are aware of when they see something like you mentioned with Lake Ella they know who they can contact.”

The North Monroe Corridor Task Force has been working this year to address the homeless population in this area. Mandel says their efforts won’t be wasted because, "Simply leaving them on the street and pushing them around solves nothing."

While leaders work to provide more resources that may prevent requests for hand-outs, TPD does encourage anyone experiencing similar solicitation to contact them.