Robert Marbut, who has spent three decades working on homeless issues, visited Pensacola Wednesday and conducted a Community Forum on Homelessness sponsored by the City.
Speaking in the City Council Chambers, Marbut outlined his work with dozens of cities, and his involvement in establishing Haven for Hope in his hometown of San Antonio -- where homelessness has dropped by around 85 percent.
Robert Marbut, a 30-year veteran of working on homeless issues, is the featured speaker this afternoon at a Community Forum on Homelessness sponsored by the City of Pensacola.
Marbut has worked with dozens of cities to reduce homelessness. He also led the Haven for Hope in San Antonio from concept to opening. After conducting a nationwide “best practices” study of homeless services, he developed the Seven Guiding Principles of Homeless Transformation, which have been adopted by a dozen communities.
The Pensacola City Council Thursday voted unanimously for an amendment to the homeless ordinance regarding “camping” on city property and the use of blankets and other covering while doing so.
The Council approved the ordinance last May, with strong backing from Mayor Ashton Hayward and his staff. Attorney Alistair McKenzie told the panel that the backlash from the ordinance has extended well beyond the city limits.
A special magistrate hearing is set for Tuesday afternoon by Escambia County Environmental Enforcement, regarding the future of a recently-opened haven for the homeless.
Satoshi Forest is nine acres of swampland and woods that sit off Massachusetts Avenue in the Mayfair neighborhood of West Pensacola. Sean’s Outpost – a local outreach group – bought the land last summer and is allowing homeless people to camp there. Jason King, Sean’s Outreach founder, says the plan is to develop Satoshi into a viable homeless sanctuary.