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Sean’s Outpost is Under Attack

Op-ed - Sean’s Outpost is Under Attack

Sean’s Outpost is a Pensacola, Florida based charity for the homeless. It is well known as one of the first organisations to embrace Bitcoin for charitable giving. Jason King is its founder. He is a regular speaker at events and is highly respected for his work.

The organisation has, to date, used Bitcoin donations to successfully supply 60,000 meals, secure nine acres of property and open a thrift store. So, Sean’s Outpost’s first birthday this week should have been cause for celebration. The local government of Pensacola, Florida has messed that right up.

The City of Pensacola has been a nuisance to the charity for some time, actively seeking to hinder the efforts of the program. Now, in an escalation of their efforts, local county commissioners have authorised the county attorney to file an injunction on Sean’s Outpost in relation to its land.

This vote was approved 3-0. The county is seeking relief against Sean’s Outpost in relation to the property (the so called ‘Satoshi Forest’) for alleged continued violations of Code-of-Ordinances and the County Land Development Code.

This follows a Notice of Violation and Cease-Desist issued to Sean’s Outpost on January 14th. The alleged violations include nuisance conditions, trash and debris, and the unpermitted erection of tents and other structures on the property.

The ‘Satoshi Forest’ is land that Sean’s Outpost allotted as a safe environment for the homeless to stay. The authorities hope to compel removal of all unpermitted structures and tents on the land, until the organisation obtains approval for the intended use of the property through the proper process: Development Review Committee approval.

Sean’s Outpost is claiming that they have done everything to abide by the law and follow regulations. Further, they claim the timing of the vote is tactical. It comes while Sean Outpost’s attorney and key staff are all out of town.

If the authorities file an emergency injunction they will only have 48 hours to appear. If it is not an emergency injunction they will have time to prepare the case.

Sean’s Outpost claims that the allegations are falsified. They allege that, in line with a previous ruling, a health inspector and code enforcer are being paid to inspect the property weekly. Not only have no violations been reported, but it is alleged that the latest report specifically states that the property has remained clean and orderly and is not in violation of any laws.

The situation gets even more intriguing and sordid. This website claims to have found video of the commissioners inquiring on how to replace and possibly terminate the special magistrate that ruled in favour of Sean’s Outpost at an emergency hearing in January.

This magistrate did not side with the county at this hearing. Instead, Sean’s Outpost was permitted to allow campers to remain on the property. This was so long as they had a health inspector and county code enforcer to inspect the property weekly.

This seems to corroborate Sean’s Outposts claim. If the weekly inspector did indeed find the property as clean and orderly, as Sean’s outpost claims, then one really has to wonder what the problem is.

On behalf of Bitcoin magazine I’d like to wish a big happy birthday to Sean’s Outpost. An organisation that does such tremendous work deserves support. It is with regret that we learn of this constant nuisance from the local authorities. We hope that anyone reading this will click here and give generously to Sean’s Outpost as you continue to fight the good fight.