Two weeks after the city’s director of homelessness led a meeting (WSB coverage here) about the plan to officially authorize and expand the encampment that’s just inside the gateway to the west side of the Myers Way Parcels, George Scarola has sent this update/recap:
On December 8th my office organized and led a community meeting at the Greenbridge Learning Center to discuss the City’s decision to make the homeless encampment on city-owned property at Myers Way one of three new City-sanctioned encampments. This is the site where Camp 2nd Chance is currently operating. The plan would allow current campers to stay and expand the number of people living there from 20 to 60 or 70.
The City is setting up new encampments because it has adopted a key recommendation from the Task Force on Unsanctioned Encampments: when people are required to move from unsafe, illegal encampments, the City should offer safe alternative places to live. Attached is a fact sheet with FAQs that was distributed at the meeting.
The primary purpose of the December 8th meeting was to listen to concerns and questions from members of the surrounding communities. Approximately 50 people attended, as well as officials from the Police Department, the Human Services Department, the Department of Neighborhoods, and the Department of Financial and Administrative Services. I am attaching notes from the meeting which lists questions, requests and comments from community members and City officials.
The next step in the community notification process will be a second community-wide meeting in January at a time and place to be determined. At that meeting we plan to have a team of City officials on hand to address the concerns and questions raised by the community. It is our intention to do all we can to make the encampment at Myers Way a safe, clean place for its residents and a good neighbor to the surrounding communities.
We’ve uploaded the two documents mentioned above – here’s the FAQ; here are the city’s meeting notes. Also of note, the Highland Park Action Committee‘s letter sent to Scarola last week, post-meeting.