District 3 City Councilmember and President of Downtown Greensboro Inc. (DGI) Zack Matheny has been pushing for a solution to problems caused by the increasing homeless population in downtown Greensboro.
Matheny has held several meetings to discuss possible solutions to issues involving the homeless people living downtown particularly in Center City Park.
Mayor Nancy Vaughan said she was well aware of the issues before they were publicized by Matheny and has been working toward solutions.
Vaughan said that officials from the City of Greensboro, Guilford County and the City of High Point have been meeting to discuss ordinances that could be passed by all three jurisdictions, so there could be uniformity in enforcement throughout the county.
Vaughan said that the meetings are continuing and that she expected some ordinances to be proposed for City Council approval in the near future.
Vaughan said one ordinance that was being considered would make it illegal to block doorways. An issue that downtown business owners have is people camping out in their doorways overnight. This ordinance would make that illegal whether the business was open or not.
Another initiative that Vaughan said District 5 City Councilmember Tammi Thurm has suggested is making retailers responsible for their shopping carts. She said the idea was to require retailers to go out and retrieve their shopping carts.
Vaughan also said that some of the problems in Center City Park are the result of organizations providing meals for the homeless population in the park.
Vaughan said, “We’re looking for alternate locations.” She said that the city was looking at several possible locations that would be better suited for delivering meals to the homeless and was in the process determining if the city could acquire a suitable alternate site.
Vaughan also said that the Greensboro Library system was in the process of hiring social workers to provide services to the homeless and was working with the High Point library system the best way to implement the program.