The city is having a tough time figuring out what to do about a small number of problematic homeless people downtown, Graham Moomaw wrote in the Daily Progress on Saturday. There are a few homeless people, most apparently not locals (unlike most of the area’s homeless population), who engage in drunken fights and nasty panhandling downtown, and downtown business owners are sick of it. It’s particularly problematic around Central Place. In response, the city has removed the benches from that block and stationed a police officer there on weekdays. As the owner of Zocalo told City Council, the problem isn’t homelessness, it’s people actually violating the law.
This reminds me of the periodic demands to beef up the city’s noise ordinance. It’s always in response to a single restaurant or venue that’s behaving badly, but because a law can’t target just one venue, we’ve got to talk about laws that affect everybody.