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Updated: 04/25/2014 10:38:34PM

Homeless plan praised

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SARASOTA COUNTY — Local officials who help the homeless population in South Sarasota County are applauding a national homelessness expert’s suggestion that a shelter for families be built in Englewood, which leads the county in homeless families and children.

Dr. Robert Marbut, a San Antonio, Texas-based consultant brought in by the county and the city of Sarasota at a cost of $40,000 to study the area’s growing homelessness issue, said the county needs to establish two, 24-hour intake portals for homeless families, with one each in North and South County. He pinpointed a site near St. David’s Episcopal Church Jubilee Center on North Elm Street in Englewood for a South County Family Village. The abandoned Lemon Bay Apartments complex currently sits on the site, which is located within five blocks of an elementary school, a park and a prekindergarten center. Cost estimates have not been provided.

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