Addressing the homeless problem

I would like to thank the Mount Vernon City Council for reviewing the ordinance on homeless parking sites and allowing time for citizens to have input. A lot of us felt like the homeless community had way more input into this than the citizens did.

Having said that, I would like to encourage the county and the city to start working toward a solutions to these homeless problems. I feel that this is becoming more than a city problem, and the county is the one with the homeless funding. They have allowed the homeless to move onto their parking lot south of the court house, maybe they could expand that space. We also have a vacant old jail that could offer secure housing for homeless, and it is centrally located for them to have the service they need.

If we can have a pilot program to allow churches to open their parking lots, why not a pilot program to allow homeless to stay at the jail? Allowing these parking areas in our neighborhoods, no matter how they are regulated, seems to be a future of problems. As a home owner we have concerns of what these parking areas will do to our property values. We also share concerns of how having strangers in our neighborhoods at night will affect our safety.

Dennis Pratt

Mount Vernon

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