Committee forms to fight homelessness and vagrancy issues
Community leaders including members of the Grants Pass City Council, United Community Action Network, The Gospel Rescue Mission and Public Safety, to name just a few organizations, have decided to form a committee during an open forum today to combat problem homeless and vagrants in Grants Pass.
The roundtable discussion started off with Public Safety Chief Joe Henner who talked about the goals Public Safety has attained in addressing the problem. Henner said trespass letters have been made available on the Department of Public Safety website which makes it easier for business owners to trespass vagrants. Vagrancy ordinance signs have also been placed across town in areas such as Menegazzi Park where transient problems are prevalent. Cameras are being added to additional areas of town and most city parks now have cameras. CSO’s are increasing enforcement against transient camps and giving citations to weeded areas where camps are set up. Henner added that the jail beds purchased by the city have had a tremendous effect on local crime and the jail is now housing 25 to 30 city inmates daily.
The soup kitchens, churches and especially the Gospel Rescue Mission have tightened their regulations in regards to serving problem patrons and the mission is developing a Do Not Serve List website that will have pictures and other identifying information to be shared amongst local philanthropic organizations in order to identify problem individuals. UCAN, who already have stringent policies, said they are making patrons aware of violating city ordinances.
City Manager Aaron Cubic ended the meeting by saying the next step is to create a formalized committee, develop a mission statement and goals for the group and to continue to dissuade the criminal population from staying in Grants Pass.