Homeless man sues Valencia

James Ross, a local homeless man, is suing Valencia College for $100 million. Ross is citing a Florida statute which states that any student who lacks a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence is exempt from all tuition fees.“It’s not about the money for me,” Ross said. “The money is not the issue. It could have been just $100. The $100 million is basically me screaming, without screaming. It’s me saying, ‘hey, you did me wrong.’”

Ross says Valencia has continually impeded him from registering for classes, and refused to be “cordial and forthright” in assisting him in this process.

Carol Traynor, Valencia’s senior public relations manager, says over the last two years, 154 homeless students have attended Valencia for free. The college released the following statement:

“As part of the enrollment process, we do require that students provide reasonable evidence of their status through a letter from a homeless service agency, a necessary step to prevent fraud and abuse. There are many such agencies locally and we can help students identify them. The college remains open to welcoming James Ross as a student upon his completion of our enrollment processes.”

Ross does not stay in a shelter that can provide such documentation, and feels that under the law, he should not be required to prove his lack of residency.

This is a developing story. Please check www.ValenciaVoice.com throughout the week, and next week’s issue for more updates.