By Meagan Perle
For Hometown News
VERO BEACH - Supporters of a conceptual homeless camp for Indian River County homeless took their message to the streets on June 28 to raise awareness for the Camp Haven project.
Community officials, church members and representatives from nonprofit groups held signs at major intersections in the city to convey that "Camp Haven Will Work" in Indian River County.
Two years ago Indian River County Sheriff's Office deputies ordered homeless residents out of some makeshift shelters created in the woods of Indian River County.
Today, there is still not a permanent solution for the more than 100 men, women and children who do not have a place to call home in Indian River County.
The Camp Haven Project wants to offer a safe and legal place for these homeless citizens to sleep, while providing life management and education skills to help them escape poverty.
Camp Haven will offer homeless citizens a six-month program where they will have accountability and responsibility with requirements for acceptance into the program.
Sonya Morrison, executive director of the The Source, called the entire situation "frustrating."
The Source is an outreach center that provides meals, clothing and other services to the homeless. They've also been trying to raise money for the project, collecting more than $25,000.
There has been a delay in the project due to finding suitable land for the camp, and a definite location still has not been determined. Another reason for the delay is the fact that this is a revolutionary project.
Annie Faulkner, volunteer coordinator at The Source, said this is the first time Indian River County has ever really encountered anything like this.
"We're having to go through all governments and it's definitely a process but one that is worth it," Ms. Faulkner said.
Since the "camp sweeps" two years ago, Ms. Morrison said The Source has created a working relationship with Indian River Sheriff's Office.
There is still progress to be made as the plan for Camp Haven changes based on meetings with community leaders and new ideas, but hopes are still high.
"The face of homelessness is completely changed," Faulkner said. "It's families and couples and we all should be aware of this."
Supporters of Camp Haven held signs at the following intersections in Vero Beach from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. June 28:
58th Avenue and State Route 60
43rd Avenue and State Route 60
27th Avenue and State Route 60
20th Avenue and State Route 60 (Twin Pair)
20th Place and U.S. 1, westbound
19th Place and U.S. 1, eastbound
17th Street and U.S. 1
17th Street and Indian River Boulevard
20th Street and Indian River Boulevard
21st Street and Indian River Boulevard (Miracle Mile)
State Road 60 and Indian River Boulevard (West End Barber Bridge)
State Road A1A and Beachland Boulevard
State Road A1A and 17th Street.