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Motion passes: people living in homeless camps in the steel city could face a fine up to $1,000


PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO)- Pueblo city council passed an ordinance 4-2 making it illegal to camp on public property in the steel city.

Before the city council meeting started, a handful of people were protesting outside of city hall holding up signs saying,"Criminalizing homelessness doesn't end homelessness."

One protester said this is not going to help the homelessness issue and instead just make it worse.

"It's not right that they are wanting to impose a camping ban on the houseless community, because the camping ban will not solve the homeless issue," said Breeanna Guerra Rodriguez, a protester outside of city hall.

Once the meeting started, the chambers were packed. Public comment surrounding this ordinance took at least two hours to get through. People were speaking both for and against this ordinance.

Councilwoman Regina Maestri brought forward this ordinance. She believes this will help clean up Pueblo.

"Our lands are being affected with hazardous waste needle needles and human feces and so forth. It is hazardous to our environment and to the health of our community," said Maestri.

Those against the ban said there are not enough beds at the rescue mission to house all the people who currently live on the streets.

The ordinance applies to all encampments located on public property where camping is not expressly authorized by the City. This ordinance establishes laws and penalties set to prevent health and safety hazards brought on by hazardous wastes such as trash and human feces from its occupants, according to the ordinance.

People living in the illegal camps will have the option to move into sheltered bed space or face a fine of up to $1,000.

This ordinance will go into effect once the mayor signs it into law.

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Barbara Fox

Barbara is a reporter based out of Pueblo for KRDO NewsChannel 13. Learn more about her here.


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