Colorado

Jan 25, 2010 6:05 PM by Jeannette Hynes

Homeless issue faces many hurdles

Colorado Springs city councilmembers are looking into adopting a "no camping" ordinance in response to the increased number of homeless people camping along the rivers and creek beds around the city. 

Council members say they're worried about public health and public safety.  They also want to make sure, if they adopt an ordinance like this, people have a place to go.

Monday afternoon, homeless advocate Bob Holmes gave the council information about the homeless situation and about how community agencies already help the homeless.

Recent violent crimes in the camps have given council members a sense of urgency to try to fix the problem sooner rather than later.

"I think the felons, once the ordinance would be passed, they'll leave, because they know if they're issued a ticket, police will check open arrest warrants," says Holmes.

Councilmember Tom Gallagher says he'd like to see the private sector get involved with this situation, because he says what the private sector can do in a month would take a government agency much longer.

Gallagher has also advocated for people's rights, talking about his personal experience with being homeless.

The "no camping" ordinance will be back on the council's agenda in two weeks.

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