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City Council Ordinance Aims to Help Homeless

KAAL-TV
Created: October 07, 2019 10:45 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- With cold temperatures around the corner, the homeless are often forced to find other ways to seek shelter. Sometimes, that includes the skyway.



A new ordinance passed by the City Council Monday night looks at ways to make sure the homeless have a permanent home.

The big question for council members was whether the ordinance would criminalize homelessness. 

The city council passed an ordinance stating skyway hours will be open from 5:30 a.m. to midnight.

A controversial part of the ordinance was whether it would be legal to lie or sit down on the skyway at any point. 

The council voted 4-to-3 that it is legal as long as the individual does not block passage or require another person to take evasive action to avoid physical contact. 

Mayor Kim Norton said the ordinance is meant to turn homeless people from the skyway to shelters like the warming center. 

"There are some who don't want to leave the skyway and we have to help them find a home because the skyway isn't a home. The skyway is a temporary solution and we want to put them in a permanent solution which is a permanent house," Mayor Norton said. 

The ordinance could take effect by Dec. 1, the same day the warming center across the government center is expected to open. 

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