City of Perry approves ordinance to limit homeless campers


Perry currently has no homeless shelters. That could change if they find viable options.

PERRY, Ga. — You can see signs of growth across Houston County, but the growth of homelessness is one the City of Perry didn’t see coming.

Just last week, Perry’s mayor and council approved an “urban camping and improper use of public spaces” ordinance that put limits on homeless campers across the city.

“This would establish a definition of camping, it would establish a definition of public areas, storing personal properties, inappropriate use of public area,” Perry’s City Attorney Brooke Newby said in a council meeting.

In simple terms, the ordinance says no camping out in public areas– that includes streets and parks.

It also says people can’t store their private property on those streets.
Downtown Perry and Legacy Park are two places where City Manager Lee Gilmour says people are seeing homeless campers.

“When we receive concerns from businesses and from our residents, council believes it important to respond to that,” he continued.

First offenders will get a warning, then they’ll get a citation, or get arrested, so if someone has no money to live, how would they pay a citation?

“That’s a good question. We’ll try and work with them. Experiences indicated most of the time once people are advised it’s inappropriate for their stay, they’ll move on to another location,” he said.

Moving to another location presents another problem. Perry currently has no homeless shelters.

Gilmour that could change if they find viable options.

“We’re very interested to see what Warner Robins does, or the state, or any other group and if it’s something that appears to be viable for the city, we would take a look at that and see if its workable for us,” Gilmour said.

Over in the international city community leaders are making plans for a shelter although a site has not been picked yet.


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