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Updated: 01/27/2014 08:00:01AM

Trip gives local officials insight on homelessness issue

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SARASOTA COUNTY — While area leaders continue their work toward building a come-as-you-are shelter for chronically homeless adults in Sarasota County, a handful of local officials recently took a trip to see some of the nation’s top homeless shelters in an effort to bring ideas back to the community.

Sarasota County Homeless Services coordinator Wayne Applebee, Sarasota County Sheriff’s Director of Planning and Research Bill Spitler and representatives from the Sarasota Police Department took part in the tour, which featured shelters designed in part by Dr. Robert Marbut. Marbut, a San Antonio, Texas-based consultant brought in by the county and the city of Sarasota who accompanied the group on the trip, recently delivered his report on how to help combat the growing issue of homelessness in the county. He has said two shelters are needed — one for the chronically homeless adults, and another in South County for homeless families with children.

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