How a homeless encampment ban could impact organizations looking to help
(ABC 6 News) – It’s an issue causing a lot of debate in the med city, banning homeless encampments. Monday night, that ban could be one step closer to going into effect.
It’s a problem seen across the nation and here in our own backyard. Rochester Police are proposing a ban on daytime camping in public places. Monday, the council is voting on it.
Those who work with the homeless community say these camps are often the only option for many people. On the other hand, some people say there’s a discomfort in having people experiencing homelessness living in these spaces.
There are a handful of organizations like Family Promise Rochester looking to keep families off the streets. Family Promise has multiple shelters across the area. Before COVID, on average there were 12 to 15 families waiting to enter the program. Now, it’s an all-time high of 35 to 45 families. It’s based on priority – When families call and they’re living in their vehicle or outside, that puts them towards the top of the list.
“One of the things I was thinking about too, was what if there was someone say in a single adult [situation] experiencing homelessness? They’re camping outside, kind of how is this process going to go? You’re arrested, you’re in jail for a night, you get a bed, you get a meal and then you’re put back out on the street. I don’t know how it’s not going to continue to keep happening. How it’s not going to be just this cycle that ends up costing taxpayers money as well,” said Erin Sinnwell, Executive Director with Family Promise Rochester.
It was back in November the council approved a motion to direct a city attorney to draft the proposed ordinance.
Monday’s meeting is at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers at the Rochester Government Center.