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National City leaders call for more research about proposed homeless encampment ban

Posted at 11:31 PM, Apr 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-03 02:31:51-04

NATIONAL CITY, Calif. (KGTV) — The City Council announced on Tuesday it will seek additional details from city staff regarding a proposed ban on homeless encampments within the city.

During Tuesday night's council meeting, community members voiced their concerns about the potential impacts of the ban on the homeless population.

A majority of speakers were against the ban, sharing personal experiences of homelessness and urging the city to prioritize housing solutions before considering such measures.

The proposed ban would restrict camping on city streets from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. when shelter beds are available. Additionally, it would prohibit encampments near schools with posted signs, waterways, and transit hubs, regardless of bed availability.

According to city data presented in the meeting agenda, homelessness in the city has seen a 6.7% increase over the past few years, with the number of homeless individuals rising from 149 in 2022 to 159 in 2023.

After discussion and public comment, the council voted to direct staff to do further research on several things including the ban, finding comprehensive solutions to the homelessness issue and immediately address unsafe conditions at current encampments.

City staff has until the beginning of June to report back to the council with their findings.