C. Surpless

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2008-04-22 20:00:43 (UTC)

Clovis Homeless Ordinance

Clovis, CA -- Police say more and more homeless are moving
into Clovis. Clovis Police Department will ask council to
do something before the problem gets worse.

Families pass unnoticed by Clifford Hartmann who spends
his days on the streets of Clovis. Hartmann said: "I'd
rather be in Clovis than in Fresno." Clovis Police say
they've seen more and more people like Clifford sleeping
out in the open, near businesses, in the parks, and along
the trails. Captain Drew Bessinger said: "Part of it is an
increase of homeless in our region. We're getting some
belled over from Fresno."

That's why the police department is pushing for an
ordinance making it illegal to camp out between 10 at
night and seven in the morning. The penalty is a citation,
and maybe jail time.

Letterman Park has been one of the trouble spots. Police
say at one point, the homeless moved in, made themselves
their meals here, and used the facilities, chasing
families away.

Sunny Singh who manages a liquor store said something has
to be done. Singh said: "It's a bad thing because they're
lying outside my store and they pee there and do
everything there." Paula Mills agrees, wishing she could
then take her kids to "any" City Park. Paula Mills
said: "They're hanging out smoking, sometimes drinking.
There's little ones around so I kind of go to a different

But without a homeless shelter in town, critics argue
citing people like Clifford Hartmann is a waste of time.
Hartmann said, "It's not going to work. Police, though,
disagree, calling the ordinance another tool to keep the
city safer.