More than 246,000 meals were served in 2012 by the Sarasota Salvation Army's Feeding Program. A local voices blogger shares his experiences serving in the kitchen.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Monday, May 6, 2013
The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office is looking for three people accused of beating up a teenager near the picnic area early Monday.
[Editor's note: The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office has revised its earlier report, adding that the victim in the incident is not homeless and that it involved juveniles. We've updated our story.] Authorities are looking for three people accused of beating up a teenager early Monday near the picnic area at Siesta Beach. The incident happened around 12:45 a.m. at the public beach, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office. The victim, who was not identified, suffered serious injuries and was airlifted to Blake Medical Center in Bradenton, officials said. The three suspects reportedly frequent the Payne Park area, according to a sheriff's office spokesperson. They are described as follows: Anyone with information is asked to contact…
Friday, December 14, 2012
New College of Florida student Ryan Feller wants to put bikes in the hands of the needy and the homeless in Sarasota and Bradenton through Suncoast Community Bikes.
New College of Florida student Ryan Feller loves the freedom a bicycle provides. When his high school friends in Weston were paying for their cards, he'd hop on his bike and go to town, saving money and peddling his way to a charitable idea called Bike Broward that provides used and repaired bikes to the needy and homeless so they can have transportation for work. The 18-year-old is now in Sarasota at New College studying public policy and transportation and started up Suncoast Community Bikes for the Sarasota and Bradenton communities. "It's amazing how something so simple can make a difference in a person's life, to be able to go to work and get access to social services," Feller tells Patch. The organization is hosting its first-ever…
Saturday, December 1, 2012
One of the teens also shot a homeless man with an air soft rifle, according to the sheriff's office.
Two 17-year-old Sarasota boys are facing aggravated assault and aggravated battery charges after deputies said they chased homeless men with their car and shot them with an air gun. Sarasota County Sheriff's deputies responded to the 5900 block of Lockwood Ridge Road at 10 p.m. Friday to respond to a reported shooting. It all started when Adam P. Hall, 17 of 3621 Parkridge Circle, and Steven Laporte, 17 of 3901 Bahia Vista St., drove to a parking lot beside a homeless camp and used their green Ford to chase Lawrence Hollow, 48, Eric Simonson, 47, and Scott Morrison, 51, according to the sheriff's office. During the incident, Laporte had shot the victims with an air soft rifle, causing minor injuries from the air soft pellets, according…
Monday, November 5, 2012
Homeless families from Sarasota and Bradenton joined area homeless veterans to get health and dental screenings, clothes, haircuts and more.
About 550 adults and families from Sarasota and Manatee counties came out to the 14th Annual Stand Down for the Homeless. The event at the Manatee County Fairgrounds in Palmetto brings myriad services to one place, so that homeless veterans and homeless families can access services, such as job searches, health care screenings, court cases, clothing, blankets and food all in one place. Homeless people received free flu shots, backpacks, sleeping bags and help with their job searches. Everyone who visited every agency was entered into a free raffle for one of 25 bicycles donated to the event. Amnesty Court offered homeless people with minor charges an opportunity to have their cases heard at the event so that they wouldn't have to travel to…
Friday, November 2, 2012
The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office charged Gregory Alfieri, 47, no fixed address, with two counts of grand theft.
A man wanted for stealing laptops from the Cattleman Road Walmart last week is now behind bars. The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office charged Gregory Alfieri, 47, no fixed address, with two counts of grand theft, marking his 11 arrest in the county in three years. Those arrests range from cocaine possession, fraud, robbery and burglary, according to the sheriff's office. The sheriff’s office released surveillance photos that show the suspect committing similar crimes on Oct. 17 and Oct. 23 and asked the public for assistance identifying him. Due to Alfieri's frequent arrests, he is now reclassified as a habitual offender and is being held on $40,000 bond, according to the sheriff's office. Manatee County Sheriff’s Office has also placed a …
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Sarasota police are targeting the Selby Library and Five Points Park area for arrests of violations of city ordinances where homeless tend to congregate.
As Sarasota city officials and police look for a way to discourage vagrants and homeless from congregating and sleeping around Selby Library and Five Points Park, they're hoping that 55 arrests during a four-week span will help. The Sarasota Police Department had 55 arrests in the Five Points area during August, with charges ranging from illegal lodging (eight), disorderly conduct, open containers, panhandling, smoking on a non-smoking property, drugs and two people were arrested on warrants, said Police Captain Wade McVay Tuesday at the City Commission meeting. The arrests come after residents and officials complained about aggressive panhandlers and what they classify as vagrants as opposed to homeless at Selby Library sleeping and …
Sunday, July 22, 2012
The ban targets homeless people.
Earlier this week, we asked Tampa Bay area residents to chime in with their thoughts on Clearwater’s proposed sitting ban. While the city of Clearwater has since moved forward with its plan, many Patch readers had mixed feelings about the notion. Here’s what Sarasota Patch readers had to say: Annette G Try this on for size: Let's say you are too poor to afford a roof over your head and have no relatives to take you in. If you are on private property (trespassing), you are a criminal. If you are on public property laying, sitting or there after hours (trespassing), you are a criminal. Where are you going to go, assuming that you really are just poor and don't want to be a criminal? Reta Saffo One of the most IRRITATING things about European…
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
How far is too far for local governments to go in an effort to reduce the visibility of homeless people on their streets? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section.
According to Metropolitan Ministries, there are more than 25,000 homeless people living in the Tampa Bay area. And with jobs scarce and economic woes continuing, that number keeps growing. As local governments grapple with their own ever-shrinking budgets, some are taking strong measures to put out no vacancy signs for their homeless populations. Panhandling bans, for example, are in effect in many Tampa Bay area communities, including Tampa and Pasco County. While homeless shelters exist, many report they are operating at capacity. Metropolitan Ministries estimates more there are 1,500 beds for homeless in Hillsborough County. Even so, some 8,000 homeless go without shelter each night, the agency estimates. In nearby Pinellas County, the …
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Quick work by the sheriff's office led to the arrest of a Wells Fargo Bank robbery suspect.
A suspected Wells Fargo bank robber didn't get away for long Tuesday in Sarasota. Sarasota County Sheriff's deputies arrested John Velasquez, 58, for robbing the Wells Fargo bank at 6076 North Lockwood Ridge Road. The robbery happened shortly before 5 p.m. and Velasquez was found about two hours later at a nearby homeless camp on 59th Street and Parkridge Circle, according to the sheriff's office. Witnesses to the robbery told authorities that a white male with a "distinctive tattoo" on his neck that read "Pamela" entered the Wells Fargo, implied he had a weapon and demanded cash. The K-9 unit and sheriff's office helicopter unit deployed to canvass the area along with road patrol setting up a perimeter, and Velasquez was spotted leaving …