August 17, 2019–1:47 p.m.
The City of Rome Public Safety Committee is planning to revisit a community plan to address homelessness. In light of the recent conversations regarding proposed amendments to city ordinances, urban camping and panhandling, more input will be sought before moving forward.
Earlier this month, the Public Safety Committee recommended two ordinance amendments requested by Rome City Police to help address some immediate concerns. Following the first reading at Monday’s City Commission meeting, the amendments were slated for a second reading at the next commission meeting on August 26.
According to Rome City Manager, Sammy Rich, “City staff have recommended the City Commission tap the brakes on moving the amendments forward. This pause will allow time to gather input from the local agencies and organizations that work daily with the homeless population in Rome so that unintended consequences are avoided.” Rich has suggested the city revisit the community plan to address homelessness that was crafted back in 2009. The plan was created with the help of a consultant who facilitated involvement and input from local stakeholders. Unfortunately, the community has yet to fully implement plan recommendations, but Rich is confident that the time is now, for reengaging this conversation along with identifying supportive actions.
“We appreciate our police department has asked for help; it is our job to ensure we provide the necessary tools they need”, said Rich. “Sometimes the best intentions are misunderstood. We want to partner with our providers to work through the challenges we are currently facing.”
The Public Safety Committee will schedule a meeting in the near future. Our community partners and the public will be invited to attend.