homeless

http://www.miamihomeless.org/

It's just after 8 a.m., and Lazaro Trueba and Ivan Romero are driving around downtown with a pack of Clipper cigars and a stash of psychotropic pills in search of "Bigfoot."

At around 6-foot-6, he's hard to miss. But after two decades living on the streets and struggling with mental illness, Jesse, the man they've lovingly nicknamed after the mythical Sasquatch, has a penchant for both walking long distances and disappearing. And finding him is important, because like their other clients he needs his medication.

Four people are being charged with Medicaid fraud for allegedly recruiting homeless people to pose as patients.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi announced the arrests on Friday.

Bondi's office alleged that the owner of an Orlando clinic and three of her associates would offer gas cards and temporary housing to homeless men and women who then posed as patients.

Staff and volunteers from Camillus Health treat members of South Florida’s homeless population by going out to the streets after clinic hours to find those who refuse both shelter and traditional medical attention.   The team, mostly nurses, are identifiable by their blue scrubs. When their van pulls up, homeless people come out of the shadows to seek services, according to a Miami Herald reporter who accompanied them one night.

Legal restrictions on where registered sex offenders can live often lead to homelessness, but Miracle Village offers an alternative. As the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports,100 men live in the community run by a Christian ministry. Things run so smoothly that TV crews hoping for a salacious reality show found out there was nothing “controversial” to air.  

Tampa Bay Times

In a tour de force of multimedia reporting, John Woodrow Cox of the Tampa Bay Times describes the scene, hour by hour, at Williams Park in downtown St. Petersburg.

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