MERCED, Calif. (AP) - Strong community opposition has led Merced
officials to put plans to clear out city homeless camps on hold.
The city had planned to start enforcing a "no camping" regulation on Jan. 23 that would mean citations and jail for anyone living in a tent on city land who refused to move.
A group of community members and church volunteers complained that the ordinance does not address where those living on the street would go.
City Councilman John Carlisle said he wants to postpone enforcing the ordinance until churches and other groups can develop a plan to shelter the homeless during the winter.
Advocates for the homeless said that the evictions would just scatter homeless people around the city and county without providing any long-term solution.
Information from: Merced Sun-Star, http://www.mercedsun-star.com
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)