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North Monroe task forces focuses on infrastructure in fourth meeting

Past meetings have focused on crime rates, how to assist people struggling with homelessness,...
Past meetings have focused on crime rates, how to assist people struggling with homelessness, and the issue of human trafficking.(WCTV)
Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 5:02 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The Citizens North Monroe Task Force will meet for the fourth time Thursday evening. The August 26 meeting has a focus on infrastructure.

Past meetings have focused on crime rates, how to assist people struggling with homelessness, and the issue of human trafficking.

The goal of the task force is to revitalize the I-10 corridor; the group is made up of residents, business owners, and experts on issues facing the area.

Thursday evening, the group will hear presentations from multiple groups, including FDOT, Blueprint, OEV, and the CRTPA.

County Commission Chair Rick Minor spearheaded the creation of the task force.

He says there is a need for a diverse group working on the issues.

“There are a lot of people involved and interested in North Monroe. You’ve got the County, the City, but then, it’s a state road. And then you’ve got lots of neighborhoods and businesses that work and live along North Monroe, so a lot of people are interested in the health of that part of our town,” said Minor.

Minor said the group has done great work, with solid debate on the issues.

The group has learned about law enforcement presence in the area. Emergency 911 reports have increased by 21 percent since 2019.

A map of reports from the Tallahassee Police Department and the Leon County Sheriff’s Office shows a high concentration around North Monroe Street, just south of the I-10 corridor.

“You’ve got people that are struggling with homelessness in the area, and I think that may actually bring in criminals to prey upon those vulnerable people. So all of this is interconnected, and it’s a complex problem that’s going to require a complex solution,” said Minor.

In past meetings, the group has also learned about the issue of homelessness facing the City and County.

Statistics from the Big Bend Continuum of Care show 87% of the homeless population is “sheltered,” which is about 661 people. About 13% is unsheltered, just about 103 people.

24% of the population surveyed struggles with being chronically homelessness. 63% of the homeless population is male, and 61% of the entire population do not have any form of income.

The task force heard a presentation on emergency social services as well, in particular the programs available to people struggling with homelessness. The Salvation Army discussed food assistance, clothing and shoes available, and hygiene kits.

The presentation also discussed adult rehabilitation centers, and the Feed the Need program.

The task force’s next meeting will be on September 21.

Minor says the draft of their recommendations should be complete in October, and they will present their full report to the County Commission in December.

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