A small park in Downtown Tampa, once known for its mistreatment of the homeless, is ushering in a new homeless policy.
“We’re going to take care of these folks,” said Tampa Parks and Recreation manager, Javed Nadeem. “For too long, this city has done everything it can to let homeless people know they aren’t welcome. That ends today.”
Nadeem gave me a tour of the additions to Lykes Gaslight Park which will now include temporary housing, as well as sanitary food serving stations.
“We’ve partnered with local businesses and restaurants to provide the homeless in this town with the essentials, and even a community shower garden where they can clean themselves off,” said Nadeem.
As part of a Downtown Tampa revitalization project, homeless people will be allowed to use the police headquarters gym showers.
“Giving homeless people a chance to shower with us at the HQ is going to make this community much stronger,” said Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan. “Tampa has been getting a ton of national attention. We got to make sure that we hide the fact that we arrested priest and hippie anarchist folks who tried to feed homeless people with some feel-good news.”
City leaders received some criticism for removing all of the benches in Lykes Gaslight Park, but Police Chief Dugan assures us all the benches that were removed will be replaced with pull-out couch beds.
“Although everything you’ve said so far, including this quote from me, is fake,” said Police Chief Dugan, “Whatever yuppie cafe bullshit they are actually adding to this park is going to suck. I know my police officers, especially the ones that like to intimidate the homeless into performing sex acts, would appreciate the shower garden more.”