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Dade County Wants New Tent City for 5,000 Homeless

December 18, 1992

MIAMI (AP) _ Dade County asked the federal government Friday for a new tent city to house about 5,000 people still homeless after Hurricane Andrew.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, which in October closed tent cities built by the military, contends the homeless are the county’s responsibility because many are not eligible for federal aid.

″If they are pre-storm homeless, we don’t have a legal responsibility to provide housing,″ said FEMA spokesman Len DeCarlo. ″The same applies to (workers) just wandering in here.″

Andy Menendez, Dade County’s director of homeless programs, said his office took a census last week and found more than 5,000 homeless.

″These are the people who have fallen through the cracks, the people who are out there and have nowhere to turn,″ he said.

FEMA may lend the county some tents and equipment but won’t provide money. Setting up a temporary shelter would cost more than $300,000.

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