The New York Times has a story today with plenty of parallels to San Diego’s annual winter shelter ordeal.

Residents of Hillsborough County, Fla., were up in arms (literally) over a proposal to erect tents that would serve 250 homeless people. Below are some highlights.

About the proposal, one resident said:

I’m not opposed to helping homeless people. It’s just this is no place for that.

Said one of the County Commissioners to vote on the plan:

In these tough financial times, someone has stepped forward and has been willing to reach out a hand of generosity. That’s what this country has been founded on.

Then he introduced a motion to deny the plan. Commissioners rejected it by a 4-3 vote.

Linda Hinson, 61, a retiree in East Lake, said defeat of the camp plan meant “I don’t have to go out and get a gun.” She declared that there were already enough shelters.

“No there’s not,” interjected Tom Atchison, director of a social service agency with 120 long-term beds for the homeless.

Mr. Atchison told Ms. Hinson there was a six-month wait for a bed, but she ignored his comment. She kept talking about crime as she pushed an elderly neighbor in a wheelchair toward the parking lot.


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