Indigent population stable, but more frequently sighted on Boardwalk by tourists
Ocean City officials have made the homeless population a priority, now that residents and visitors have spotted them more frequently on the Boardwalk this summer.
“We have a plan that’s ongoing, from an operations standpoint, on how we’re addressing this issue,” Police Chief Ross Buzzuro told the council during the Sept. 18 session. “We’ve been very proactive throughout the summer and that is something we’ll continue.”
Earlier this month, Mayor Rick Meehan and Councilman Wayne Hartman asked Ocean City Police to keep an eye on the people who camp out on the boards. The City Council received several complaints on the matter, raising questions whether the homeless population is rising or harassing behavior is becoming more apparent.
But Bruce Young, who runs Shepherd’s Crook food pantry, said the homeless population has always been here — it’s just that more people see them.
“Right now, I can walk down to the Boardwalk and see a few of them by the Caroline Street Comfort Station,” he said. “They like to go there to get out of the sun and it’s a bathroom. I’d say there’s about eight homeless people that live here year-round that we serve. Traditionally, we see 50 of them between May and October.”