The cost of bringing a homelessness expert to the region to develop a strategic action plan is roughly $40,000, according to a July 24 email from Sarasota County Assistant County Administrator Lee Ann Lowery to other municipalities.
Less than one week after Dr. Robert Marbut spoke at an event co-hosted by the Gulf Coast Community Foundation and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, the city of Sarasota and Sarasota County have begun planning to hire Marbut to study the homelessness problem in the area. Lowery reached out to the town of Longboat Key, the city of North Port and the city of Venice to request $8,000 from each municipality to cover the consulting fee and expenses.
"Because this is a community-wide issue and a community plan, we are asking if your city is willing to participate in bringing Dr. Marbut here, hopefully very soon," Lowery wrote in the email. The county and city of Sarasota would also provide $8,000 each.
During Marbut's July 18 presentation, he noted the need for a one-stop service center for homeless care in downtown Sarasota and a facility for homeless-family intake.
Click here to view an interview with Marbut following the presentation.