WEST PALM BEACH, FL., February 1, 2019 — Keith James, city commissioner and mayoral candidate of West Palm Beach (WPB), today announces a comprehensive plan involving the city, other public entities, private sector and non-profit community to address the growing homeless population in West Palm Beach. The plan calls for leveraging WPB’s annual $4 million investment to tackle homelessness with new innovative ideas to focus on both immediate and long-term solutions.
James has supported the city’s annual $4 million investment including services and housing construction targeted for the homeless. He joins WPB constituents in making this a top priority.
“I have met with residents across our city and the growing homeless issue is on the top of everyone’s mind, including my own. That’s why I have outlined a detailed plan to not only look at long-term solutions to the issue, but steps we can take on day one to help our local businesses and residents who have expressed concern,” stated James. “I have met with community partners, our first responders, local businesses and residents before putting this plan together. I believe I have outlined a plan that balances the human element and the need to focus on our overall quality of life here in West Palm Beach.”
James has created a bold strategy and homeless action plan for WPB:
- Community Ambassadors: James will prioritize the use of homeless outreach teams made up of experts and professionals who can work with our homeless population to build trust and help them find housing, a job and medical attention.
- Immediate Enforcement Measures: James will take immediate steps to support local businesses and enforce anti-loitering laws to prevent people from remaining on private property when they do not have permission to be there. James will encourage businesses to execute and file trespass affidavits which will assist law enforcement in enforcing anti-loitering laws. Private security teams will be hired by the city to provide constant welfare checks on the homeless loitering on public property and in our parks.
- Leverage State & Federal Funding: James will work with regional, state and national leaders to secure additional funding to address homeless issues as well as funding for drug and opioid addiction and veteran support programs.
- Housing First: James has seen how this model can help people rebuild their lives. James will review how we can utilize city property as options for housing. He is focused on getting people off the streets and in homes so they can get a job, be healthy and become part of the community.
- Community Partnerships: James will work with the private, non-profit and public sectors to ensure we are utilizing all available resources, that programs are effective and community services are not being duplicated.
- Prevention Efforts: James will encourage programs that provide job training and education for people looking for a new career or housing assistance to those who fall on hard times to prevent them from becoming homeless.
This is the second major initiative launched by James in his campaign for Mayor. This week James launched his Neighborhoods First Initiative which is focused on making neighborhood priorities the top focus of his administration.
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About Keith James:
Commissioner Keith James was elected to the West Palm Beach City Commission in 2011 and is a two-time president of the City Commission. As the Immediate Past President of the Palm Beach County League of Cities, Board Member of the Florida League of Cities and member of Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency, Commissioner James has become a leader on solving local municipal and regional issues of importance.
On the City Commission, Keith James has sought to create a city of opportunity where people and businesses can succeed. Under Keith James’ leadership, West Palm Beach has seen a boom in economic development and job creation, improvements in city services and increase in local neighborhood projects. Commissioner James has prioritized sound budget management, improving public safety, protecting West Palm Beach’s water supply and environment and addressing homelessness and workforce housing issues.
Keith James has been endorsed in his campaign for Mayor by Congresswoman Lois Frankel, Palm Beach County Mayor Mack Bernard, Former State Representative Joe Abruzzo, State Representative David Silvers, State Representative Emily Slosberg, Former State Representative Irv Slosberg, Former PBC Commissioner Addie Greene, Town of Jupiter Inlet Colony Mayor Dan Comerford, City of Pahokee Mayor Keith Babb, City of South Bay Mayor Joe Kyles, City of Lake Worth Commissioner Andy Amoroso, City of Lake Worth Commissioner Herman Robinson, City of Lake Worth Commissioner Omari Hardy, City of Riviera Beach Councilor Terence “TD” Davis, City of Palm Beach Gardens Councilor Mark Marciano, Town of Jupiter Inlet Colony Commissioner Milton “Chip” Block, Town of Jupiter Councilman Ilan Kaufer, Town of South Palm Beach Councilman Robert Gottlieb. These local leaders join the West Palm Beach Association of Firefighters and the AFL – CIO for Palm Beach and Treasure Coast in endorsing Keith James for Mayor.
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