PALM BEACH COUNTY – Palm Beach County has issued a statement regarding the removal of homeless individuals from the John Prince Park after reports that the county was removing such persons on the basis that they were homeless. The official statement reads:
To set the record straight, Palm Beach County staff is NOT removing persons because they are homeless from John Prince Park on Wednesday, February 12, 2020, as has been reported by the news media. Homelessness is a prevalent issue in our county, and it is the intent of the Board of County Commissioners to work with our municipal, faith-based, nonprofit and business partners to ensure homeless persons receive the services they deserve.
As soon as Wednesday, February 12, 2020, Palm Beach County’s Division of Human Services staff will be assessing the homeless population currently in John Prince Park to determine what services they may be eligible to receive.
Palm Beach County has a long history of providing assistance to the homeless. In 2012, the Lewis Center was opened to transition individuals and families out of homelessness. A second homeless resource center was recently approved in unincorporated Lake Worth. Two recent outreach programs include the Parks-to-Work program by the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department that has employed 48 homeless people to work in John Prince Park. The 100-Day Challenge administered by the Community Services Department succeeded by assisting 121 homeless youth into housing.