Friday, July 15, 2011

Phil Grande takes homeless from downtown to million dollar neighborhood

Five Points Park in downtown Sarasota has become a magnet for homeless people and it makes Phil Grande crazy.

"Everybody thinks of a homeless guy as somebody who just lost his job at G.E., who is sitting on a park bench with his wife who looks like Mary Poppins with two kids and a puppy," says Grande.
"That's not homeless," he continues. "Homeless is a guy urinating, masturbating, stealing from you and drunk."

Grande, a businessman and radio talk show host who lives downtown, asked Vice Mayor Terry Turner to help, but Grande says Turner told him to move out of Downtown. According to Grande, the Vice Mayor said he lives in Cherokee Park and doesn't have to put up with it.
Turner says it is untrue and he did not say that to him.

But Turner does admit the problem isn't as severe as it once was. He says when it was a serious problem he took it seriously. So Grande is now taking the homeless to Turner's neighborhood, of million dollar homes, once a week to feed them. Grande says Turner thinks they they are ok in downtown, so he is going to move them to Turner's neighborhood and see if he is a hypocrite. (more)