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City Council's Public Safety Committee To Discuss Issues Of People Experiencing Homelessness

Local shelter head offers help to people sleeping in Seminary Park.

Wheeler Mission director Dana Jones offers to bring people camping in Seminary Park back to its shelter on Monday, Jan 11. (Joe Hren, WFIU/WTIU News)

The City of Bloomington has warned the people camping in Seminary Park that they must seek shelter elsewhere before its park rules will be enforced.

Notices were posted in the park last week saying tents and other camping structures would be removed Monday, Jan. 11, starting at 11 p.m.

But when the time came, nobody from the city was there to begin removing items.

READ MORE: City Does Not Enforce Park Policies And Remove Tents From Seminary Park Monday Night

“Sleeping outside in the Bloomington winter can be dangerous, and in fact fatal,” the city said in a statement. “Current weather and safety conditions are such that the City cannot in good conscience recommend overnighting in the Seminary Park area.”

A letter with over 1,500 signatures from elected officials, local organizations and residents asked the city to put a moratorium on tearing down the encampment.

READ MORE: City Rejects Letter Calling For Moratorium On Evictions At Seminary Park

Tents are still in the area and it is unknown when the city will begin enforcing its rules.

Special Use Policy #13040 prohibits overnight camping in public parks without a permit between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.

“City staff, collaborating with outreach personnel from our partnering agencies, have spent the last few weeks sharing information about the opportunities available through the agencies that serve those experiencing homelessness,” the city said.

The city council’s public safety committee will host a community discussion on the issue of homelessness Thursday at 7 p.m. via zoom.

Members of the public can find the link to that meeting by going on the city’s website.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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