Rome City Commissioners held a first reading this week on two proposals that would attempt to change the way law enforcement handles the homeless issues around the city.

The proposals come from concerns that were raised by the Public Safety Committee.   The committee said looked at police reports and cited evidence of human feces in downtown parking decks, people sleeping in doorways and excessive liter from the camps.

City Commissioner Wendy Davis said, ” Throughout my service as a Rome City Commissioner I have asked my colleagues at retreat after retreat to consider ways to help our neighbors with unstable housing situations. Although I wasn’t able to move my colleagues to positive action, I never expected to face this kind of proposal which in essence criminalizes homelessness. I will continue to be an advocate for the city to bring people in our community together to find real solutions to the pervasive and complex issues of poverty. “

The two ordinances included fixes to  “urban camping” and  “panhandling”.

Click links to view proposals

Urban camping

Panhandling ordinance

Both proposals will come before the city commission on Monday August 26 for a second reading.

Click link below to watch full meeting.

http://rome-ga.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=1&clip_id=147