Merced City Officials Address Homeless Problem
Merced, Calif. (KFSN) -- A meeting is underway to determine if homeless campgrounds should be allowed in Merced -- and if registered sex offenders should be allowed to live in designated camps.
About half of the people who live in one large campground off Santa Fe Drive are registered sex offenders. Homeless advocates said they have nowhere else to go because they're required to stay in the city where they committed their crime. But some officials are concerned allowing such campgrounds will attract other homeless people to the area.
Renee Davenport with the Citizens Advisory Committee on Homelessness asks, "Is it better to have them scattered all over or is it better to have them in one place where they haven't really bothered anybody?"
Bill Blake explains, "We may have to look at a residency requirement, where they have some relationship, family, a school history, or do live here to keep supporting them."
The meeting is being held at Peterson Elementary school in Merced. The citizens committee is expected to present its findings to the city council on April 5th.
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