The Bitcoin-funded Sean’s Outpost is having a hard time trying to keep Satoshi Forest running. Escambia County officials in Florida have cited the premises for many violations, and have asked the residents to vacate. More recently, county officials asked Sean’s Outpost to apply to the developer’s board, only to be denied once again.
After Agreeing to Meet Requirements, Satoshi Forest Still Gets Denied
The Escambia County Government has recently made Sean’s Outpost apply to the development board. The committee then told the organization they had to meet certain requirements in order to continue. Developments included building a permanent road and a holding pond. With no reservations, Sean’s Outpost agreed to build the roadway and water tank. However, development county officials still denied the permit.
At the hearing, attorney William Dunaway explained that Satoshi Forest would meet the requirements. Following this statement, Escambia County development board member Horace Jones explained why he denied the permit:
“Again my statement stands — I recommend that issues ordered by the government ought to be denied. — I want to make it perfectly clear for the news media, this is not about me not loving, or the county is not respecting the plight of the homeless. It is not an emotional issue for me. It is based upon the requirements of the land development code.”
The State of Florida Is Not Friendly Towards the Homeless
Unfortunately, Florida’s bureaucrats have instituted a vast array of laws against homelessness over the years. For instance, many Florida lawmakers from different cities have opted to criminalize and prosecute those who sleep outside.
Additionally, Florida has more than double the amount of hate crimes committed against those who are less fortunate than the rest of the country.
In 2014, the city of Hollywood, Florida bought Sean Cononie’s homeless shelter for close to $5 million. The city bought the shelter so that they could shut it down and made Cononie promise never to operate in the city again. The 50-year-old Cononie then moved to Polk County and used the $5 million to run a new homeless establishment.
Sean’s Outpost started Satoshi Forest back in 2013 and supported the creation through bitcoin donations. Founders Michael Kimberl and Jason King put a lot of work into the nine acres of land in Pensacola, Florida. This included providing shelter for the residents and feeding them meals. The organization has served its residents close to 170,000 meals, paid for with bitcoin donations.
More recently, neighbors have complained to county officials about the outreach project. One neighbor, Richard Grimes, started several petitions to get county officials on board with removing Satoshi Forest residents. Grimes said, “I think that a lot of those people really do need help, and there is a need out there.”
“It just does not need to be in this neighborhood.”
The Fight Will Continue As Sean’s Outpost Appeals the Denial
Bitcoin.com chatted with Michael Kimberl about the board denial and recent turn of events. Kimbrel explained that Sean’s Outpost advocates expected the denial.
“We are not surprised by the denial. We thought that we would be denied from the moment we saw they changed the land use code to use against us,” Said Kimberl.
“The simple facts are that we have been out there helping people for almost three years with no help from the government and we will continue to do so. We will not stop just because some bureaucrat says to. The homeless need our help, love, and compassion.”
It’s a shame that state and county officials from Florida have such grievances with homelessness rather than empathy. Cases like this one show that the highly illogical laws they have created are absurd, and lawmakers have no excuses.
Kimberl believes the organization will fare better with the appeal. Now, they have evidence of a denial even though they agreed to the terms and conditions of the application. The founder believes it shows they never planned on granting the permit in the first place. Kimberl hopes the Board of Adjustments can see this through the development board’s recent decision.
In conclusion, Kimberl said: “When you have a government that is actively passing laws again the homeless and then attempting to shut down spaces that provide a safe haven for them you really have to wonder what their true agenda is.”
What do you think about the problems Satoshi Forest faces? Let us know in the comments below.
Source: Michael Kimberl, Watkins Productions/YouTube, and the Huffpost
Images via Shutterstock, and Watkins Productions.
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