New rules make it illegal for homeless to live outside CCB
Reversing course on two previous votes, the committee in charge of the City-County Building’s rules said public safety concerns had become so evident they now needed to change the CCB’s trespassing and loitering rules.
The law change means by Oct. 1 it will be illegal for the homeless to live outside the CCB.
“There are those who think this place is safe,” City-County Liaison Committee Co-Chair Mary Korlar said. “Right now the CCB is not a safe place. It is a dangerous place. People are getting in fights. Over consumption of alcohol. Illegal drug use. It’s not a safe place.”
Other members talked about increasing examples of homeless intimidation, theft, danger of violence such as knife fights, and sanitary concerns like homeless people washing their underwear in water fountains and defecating on the walls, as they voted 7-1 in favor of the change.
People at the hearing talked about the CCB being one of the only places community members felt safe living, given the lack of a day shelter.
Others, like Karissa Schaper, who lives outside the CCB, worries with only 60 shelter days per year, where she and her other street family members will go.
“This is the only safe haven we have at night. It’s right in front of the jail. So we don’t get in trouble or hurt,” Schaper said.
Salvation Army Social Services Director Melissa Sorensen said a limited number of rooms means they can only offer a restricted number of days in their women, family and emergency shelters.
“If everyone got to stay for an entire year…we wouldn’t be able to serve the need of the community,” Sorensen said.
Like many offering public testimony Monday, Schaper said a majority of the homeless community like her should not be punished for a few bad actions.
“Those bad people, make them leave,” Schaper said. “Not the people that need this place.”