Just like every city, large and small, West Palm is experimenting with ways to handle our homeless population compassionately, while protecting the investments of the business community and the quality of life for residents and visitors. We don’t have a “big” problem compared to other places, but it’s been high-profile recently. Locally, our citywide homeless census from January has dropped by 14% since last year.*

The City’s new Homeless and Mental Health Task Force recently presented short- and longterm recommendations to address housing, safety and mental health issues, and they are a priority of the administration.

Last March the West Palm Beach DDA, in partnership with
The Lord’s Place, introduced our new Downtown Clean Team.

Six previously homeless individuals now have decent-paying jobs and are helping our downtown shine, literally. In their fluorescent shirts, this brand-new crew works daily to clear litter, sweep sidewalks, scrub the rims of the trash receptacles, scrape away stickers and gum, clean graffiti, and maintain the landscaping – plus engage with the homeless they encounter along the way. No one can connect with a homeless person like someone who’s been there, done that.

So if you wanna talk trash about Downtown West Palm Beach, help out by spreading the word about our Clean Team. The program is working – and now so are they.

*West Palm Beach Housing & Community Development

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