Sean’s Outpost is a well known charitable organization cryptocurrency enthusiasts have supported since its inception. The homeless outreach located in Pensacola, Florida has provided over 165,000 meals using Bitcoin as a funding vehicle. The outreach has shown the magnitude of possibilities crowdfunding with digital currency can bring. However, today the Pensacola News Journal reports the sanctuary is being threatened by officials from the county.
Escambia County Has Issues With Satoshi Forest Structures
The local homeless organization sits on 9 acres of property known as Satoshi Forest. Founded by Jason King, and Michael Kimbrel in 2013 the area was created to help battle the growing Pensacola homeless population. Kimbrel states the Department of Housing and Urban Development says that there are more than 800 people within that region sleeping outdoors on a daily basis. Since the nonprofit began, it has tried to provide not only meals but also a place to stay for people located on the property. However, the area is not permitted to be a campground, so Kimbrel and King have had issues with Escambia County concerning permits for Satoshi Forest. Kimbrel states:
“We have roughly 300 shelter beds in the county, so that means at any given time there are roughly 500 people sleeping illegally in parks, on public property, behind bushes and grocery stores. We wanted to provide a safe place to help some of those people out.”
Despite this effort, county officials feel differently about the land and its occupants. Authorities have recently served Kimbrel with a cease-and-desist against structures located on the property. This will require the organization to attend a magistrate hearing concerning the alleged code violations.
One of these rules is is that structures or residents living on the land are not allowed to stay for over fourteen days a year. Kimbrel explains, “They’ve said we can’t have anyone staying in a structure on the property for more than 14 days a year. Currently, they are saying we can either allow people out here for 14 consecutive days and then take down the tents, or pick 14 separate days throughout the year that we will allow tents.”
Despite his team’s efforts to help people in the area, surrounding neighbors living next to the property are not comfortable with the homeless outreach. One neighbor Richard Grimes has started several petitions to stop the property from being a camp and has collected signatures from local residents against Satoshi Forest. Grimes explains that they are concerned for children living so closely to the camp and believes it could be located elsewhere. “I think that a lot of those people really do need help, and there is a need out there,” Grimes said. “It just does not need to be in a neighborhood.”
Kimbrel has told the press he will not comply with the fourteen-day time-frames and believes it is unjustified. He and many others say Satoshi Forest has helped many and has provided a safe environment and meals to thousands of people all powered by Bitcoin donations. Homelessness is deemed illegal in the state of Florida and acts such as sleeping in parks and panhandling will often find offenders arrested or fined. This isn’t the first time the nonprofit has had issues with the county and surrounding neighbors. The charitable organization has kept up with its goal to provide a safe environment and meals to victims of homelessness. As long as officials don’t cease operations the team will continue with their mission. Bitcoin.com wishes the founders the best of luck with this ordeal and hopes Sean’s Outpost can continue to show the world crowdfunding with cryptocurrency can do great things.
What do you think about the legal battle this outreach faces in Pensacola? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Sean’s Outpost website