Recently, the St. Pete Times had an interest in Lakeland:
Maybe in a less charitable place, that would have been the end of it. But not in Lakeland, a city that has earned a reputation around the state and even the nation as a kind of hobo’s paradise. In Lakeland, a homeless man’s missing ear is occasion for an outpouring of concern. St. Pete Times, Sep. 10, 2007
Lakeland police Capt. Harry Katt, whose team of neighborhood officers “cleaned up the block,” said he was relieved. Things had to change. Too many homeless from too many places, and more expected.
“We’re not heartless,” he said, “but we can’t take on Florida’s homeless problem, much less the nation’s, because we reached a saturation point.” St. Pete Times, Oct. 16, 2007
The gist of the stories were (1) Lakeland treats its homeless populations well and (2) Lakeland ran out a great portion of its homeless population. The “after” story quoted a few people who wondered what happened to many of the homeless population after the September 28th purge.
I wonder if the answer might be found in a post on Empirical Polk.
It may only be my perception, but there seems to be more homeless people in Winter Haven. A large percentage of them congregate at night in one of the covered pavilions on Lake Silver. During the day they go their respective ways about town. EP, Oct. 10, 2007