Fort Collins Camping Ban Remains In Effect
Don't pitch that tent in City Park just yet; looks like the Fort Collins police might still give you a ticket after all.
The City Council was supposed to meet on Tuesday to discuss amending a law that currently prohibits camping on public property in Fort Collins, including in city parks and natural areas; but according to the Coloradoan, that item has been removed from the agenda and hasn't been rescheduled.
The proposal would have allowed someone ticketed for illegal camping between sunset and sunrise with an “affirmative defense” when they appear in municipal court. If homeless shelters in Fort Collins were full at the time of the infraction, a ticket could be dismissed.
Source: Fort Collins Coloradoan
This is a particularly troubling turn of events for the city's homeless population. Advocates say homeless people have nowhere else to go, and forcing them to "move along" when they're just trying to find a place to sleep promotes negative stereotypes and deprives them of basic human rights.
I get that homeless people camped out everywhere can be a bit of an eyesore that a city doesn't want; but there's also merit to the "basic human rights" argument. Folks gotta sleep, even if they don't have a place to call home. It's a tricky situation, to be sure.
Of course, while this debate rages on in our neighborhoods, Canada is experimenting with giving every citizen free money for basic needs like food and shelter. I guess that's just one more reason all the ladies in the office have a massive crush on Justin Trudeau...