Gov. DeSantis backs ban on homeless camping on streets

DeSantis Miami Beach via EOG
DeSantis' words will boost a controversial bill that would put new restrictions on how cities manage the unhoused population.

During a press conference in Miami Beach, Ron DeSantis made the case for the Legislature to take action to curb the rights of the unhoused population.

The Governor said such a move would prevent Florida from becoming San Francisco.

To that end, he is “confident there will be a product” to “prohibit camping on all city streets and parks,” adding that “most” local governments will back legislation like current bills in the House (HB 1365) and Senate (SB 1630) that would ban sleeping rough and require localities to set up homeless camps.

He teased state funding for “sheltering” and “things to address some of the mental health problems we’ve seen from people on the street” and the “substance abuse.” While he was vague on that point, he has previously suggested institutionalization should be brought back.

DeSantis also suggested that locally provided homeless camps were only necessary because of a perhaps misguided legal interpretation from the Earl Warren-era SCOTUS.

“Courts have said you have to do that. I’m not sure that’s what the Constitution actually says. But you know what? This is the Warren Court and they just made it up as they went along.”

He illustrated his remarks with anecdotes and assertions familiar to those who listened to his campaign stump speeches before he left the race last month.

“You look at places like San Francisco where you can rob the stores blind and they don’t do anything. I met people who have moved to Miami Beach, from San Francisco, had their homes broken into and the perpetrators weren’t prosecuted even though they were caught. They weren’t prosecuted. How is this supposed to be happening?” DeSantis said.

“Sometimes when they’re charged for crimes,” he added, “they just get released back onto the street and it’s like a revolving door and that really causes the quality of life to collapse.”

The Governor said the “homelessness and the drugs and the crime” have adversely impacted “law-abiding people,” not just in San Francisco but also Los Angeles.

“We’re not going to let any city turn into a San Francisco,” he promised.

These comments jibe with remarks on the campaign trail about drug use on the streets of the city.

“I’ll tell you, it’s personally shocking when you roll into San Francisco and within five minutes, you see somebody defecate on the sidewalk. Then you see people doing, smoking crack, you see people doing fentanyl, you see all this and all these businesses boarded up, energy from the place is totally sapped, no vitality,” DeSantis lamented in New Hampshire.

In Miami Beach, he said he saw the street defecation within “two minutes,” however.

The Governor also filmed a campaign ad in the city that hit the same points.

The messaging fell on deaf ears with California voters, however. The final poll of Republicans before he exited the presidential race saw him with 6% support.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


11 comments

  • Dont Say FLA

    February 5, 2024 at 12:01 pm

    But Rhonda, YOU brought all these crazy people to Florida with your crazy talk. Now you want ban them from being asleep? Just because your ban on being woke failed? Republicans will eat their own the very second they get a whiff of blood in the water.

  • Elmo

    February 5, 2024 at 12:04 pm

    Meanwhile, he does everything in his power to limit social services and federal benefits for Florida Citizens. He also works tooth and nail to strip citizens of employment benefits while busting as many unions as he can, unless of course their government unions. Little Big Men like him are dangerous.

    • Elmo

      February 5, 2024 at 12:06 pm

      * they’re

  • rbruce

    February 5, 2024 at 12:08 pm

    Stop calling vagrants, “homeless”. The taxpayer is not responsible to house, feed, and cloth everyone. There are charitable organizations that do this.

    • rbruce r not right

      February 5, 2024 at 12:24 pm

      “There are charitable organizations that do this.”

      Then why are these people still on the streets? One thing about you, rbruce, you think you have all the answers, and more often than not your answer is like this one, just plain idiotic. And always mean-spirited.

    • MH/Duuuval

      February 5, 2024 at 3:06 pm

      This guy is channeling Ronald Reagan, Dee’s preferred model, on poverty. However, RR’s expert on the subject concluded that the community doesn’t have the resources and that federal government help is necessary.

  • MH/Duuuval

    February 5, 2024 at 12:12 pm

    Dee’s solution to homelessness is out of sight, out of mind.

    Locking up the homeless doesn’t seem wise since jails are dangerous for those with health issues, which would be expected of many homeless.

    The lack of public bathrooms and water fountains is a public health issue, not a criminal justice issue.

  • TJC

    February 5, 2024 at 12:36 pm

    Well, now we know what kind of Governor he’s going to be now that he’s no longer stumping for the Presidency. He’s going to continue lying about California, claiming they don’t incarcerate criminals when in fact they have the second-highest prison population in the U.S., behind only Texas. And it looks like he’s going to target the homeless for his next crusade against helpless minorities, having already shot his wad over Black voters and the LGBTQ community.
    What a nasty little man.

  • Michael K

    February 5, 2024 at 1:54 pm

    Family and friends who live and thrive in San Francisco beg to differ with the governor and suggest he pay attention to the plight of homeless people in Tallahassee, Miami, Tampa, St Pete, and other locales…

  • Silly Wabbit

    February 5, 2024 at 4:04 pm

    He kwazy.

  • Janice Tetstone

    February 8, 2024 at 1:38 pm

    Florida Governor DeSantis’ endorsement of isolating and keeping the homeless Americans under surveillance reminds me of President Franklin D. Roosevelt , after the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, warehousing Americans in camps on American soil.

    The slippery slope to institutionalized human degradation begins with acts of the deranged few that go unopposed and serve only to dehumanize classes of Americans based solely on their living conditions.

    “I think what we’re envisioning is providing some support for counties for additional sheltering, providing some financial support for both substance abuse (programs) and mental health,” DeSantis said

    The state Florida has the nation’s third highest homeless population with 25,959 people being counted in 2022.

    And , Florida the third-most populous state in the country, has a total of 9,764,897 housing units, of which 2,810 went into foreclosure. This puts Florida’s foreclosure rate at one in every 3,475 homes and into 10th place. Jan 17, 2024

    There are approximately 2,279 homeless Florida veterans ,HUD estimates .
    Homelessness is just one side effect of greed. Left uncontrolled- every Americans chance of becoming homeless increases.

    I know, it’s my duty as American to defend America’s homeless, who I believe the majority are victims of the systems that were put in place to defend and protect every Americans right to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

    Freedom will be safe as long as their are those willing to defend it… if need be.

Comments are closed.


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