Public forum brings community together to solve vagrancy issue
Grants Pass City Manager Aaron Cubic held a community forum regarding vagrancy issues at council chambers Tuesday night and the focus of discussion primarily focused on controlling malicious vagrants.
Professional vagrants, a term coined by Carl Wilson who was speaking on behalf of the Gospel Rescue Mission, is used to define individuals who do not follow rules, disobey laws and harass the general citizenry.
Presentations were given by community organizations such as Options, the Gospel Rescue Mission, UCAN, Choices and the Department of Public Safety to detail mental health issues, faith-based solutions, homeless census and assessment, addiction and law enforcement aspects of the problem.
Consensus among the presenters and citizens was that there are services out there in the community for those that are homeless who are seeking opportunities through avenues such as the Gospel Rescue Mission or the St. Vincent DePaul Soup Kitchen. The professional vagrants however, according to a survey by Public Safety, will not accept any help that places rules on them or forces them to obey laws.
City Councilman Dan DeYoung, who addressed the crowd as a citizen, said that this should be the first of many community forums regarding this issue.