November 18, 2020

Committee Votes Down Proposal That Would Have Regulated Homeless Distributions

Screenshot by Jill Sheridan WFYI

Screenshot by Jill Sheridan WFYI

 

The Indianapolis City-County Council's Public Safety and Criminal Justice Committee met Wednesday night to discuss proposals related to giving for people experiencing homelessness and a moratorium on jails. 

A proposal to regulate distributions to people experiencing homelessness was voted down.  Republican Councilor Michael Paul Hart authored the measure in response to organizations concerned about safe distributions, reduction of litter and best ways to help those experiencing homelessness.

"Connections to extended resources, wrap around services that these letters of support talked about," Hart said. 

Committee Chair Leroy Robinson questioned the timing of the move while the number of those in need is increasing. 

"We’re debating a proposal that regulates and penalizes organizations that are feeding homeless people," Robinson said. 

Another resolution that would create a moratorium on new jails for up to 10 years and direct focus to other services including mental health, housing and food security was pushed back after discussion.

Councilor Ethan Evans says the aim is to prevent crime rather than punishment.

"The overarching intent and vision is to improve the quality of life for our residents including those that have needs that remain unresolved," Evans said. 

The committee also approved additional money for the coroner's office because of an increase in death investigations this year. 

 

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