Wilson Hooper, City Manager
BREVARD CITY COUNCIL’S PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE WILL HOLD SPECIAL MEETING TO DISCUSS CITY’S APPROACH TO CAMPING ON PUBLIC PROPERTY
[BREVARD, N.C. December 13, 2022] – The Brevard City Council’s Public Safety policy committee (PSC) will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, January 4, 2023 at 6:00 pm to discuss possible changes to the city code of ordinances regarding camping on public property. The meeting will be held at the Mary C Jenkins Community and Cultural Center.
The meeting is being held at the direction of the full City Council who, at their November 19, 2022 meeting, instructed the committee to hear from stakeholders in the homeless services community and consider alternatives to a previous proposal that made camping on public property a Class 3 misdemeanor.
The PSC held a public meeting on December 2, 2022 to discuss the goals and logistics of the special meeting.
“The Council’s message to us was that the previous proposal criminalized homelessness, and that any change to our ordinances that unduly affected homeless people -intentionally or unintentionally- should be formulated with more input from the folks who serve our homeless neighbors,” said Councilmember Mac Morrow, chair of the PSC. “Therefore, we’ll be seeking input from those folks on how we can accomplish our public safety goals of keeping our public properties clean, safe, and open for their intended use without burdening those experiencing homelessness.”
Representatives from The Cove, The Haven, Sharing House, Blue Ridge Community Health, and THRIVE have been invited to give feedback at the meeting. The meeting is open to the public and feedback from others will be received at the discretion of the committee.
At the November 19, 2022 Council meeting, the full Council also instructed city staff to explore additional ways the City of Brevard can support the community’s response to homelessness. That work is ongoing and will be brought back to the City Council for discussion at a later date.