Re the April 18 editorial Downtown’s delicate balance: When I look at the streets of other urban cities I’m saddened and embarrassed by the lack of improvements I see in Miami. We will never be a world-class city if we continue to allow our city to be hijacked by an outdated act to counter bad decisions made by the police department in the 1980s.
The 350 chronic homeless aren’t some poor, misunderstood group of people down on their luck. They are vagrants that are allowed to harass our community and defecate and urinate in public because they don’t have a home. They are allowed sleep, camp and cook on our sidewalks and throw their belongings anywhere they choose.
This is dangerous for the rest of us. I’m concerned and offended by this editorial only points out the positive without considering what’s going on here.
I’m a downtown business owner and resident and I’m scared to walk around the block at night. Flagler Street is dark and desolate. Vagrants sleep on Northeast Third Avenue and First Street. I’ve asked the police for help, but their hands are tied. They can do nothing because of a mistake made 35 years ago.
The Downtown Development Authority, at least, is trying to develop business that will bring in taxes for the city to continue to fund programs to help people in need.
Lorry Woods, Miami