Groups may soon need to register before catering to the homeless – WISH-TV | Indianapolis News | Indiana weather

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A motion before the Indianapolis City District Council Monday night would require groups to register with the city government before coming downtown to feed homeless people.

Not doing so could cost a pretty penny.

“Cameron” is homeless and asked News 8 to discredit him. He said he spends a lot of time in and around University Park, just south of the War Memorial in downtown Indianapolis. He says that when the food donation cars appear, he leaves. The crowd and chaos are just too much for him.

“Maybe you force them to throw things away that they give away, you know, they pick up after them,” Cameron said.

Andrew Merkley, director of homelessness policy and eviction prevention from the city government’s Office of Public Safety, explained why the city and county council is considering registering groups that feed the homeless. “The council came to OPHS We’re concerned about some of the recent incidents we’ve seen at unauthorized distribution sites, and have been looking for ways to reduce the issues we’ve seen at that location.”

The issues included piles of trash left behind after donation events.

In May during a food donation event in University Park, a woman was stabbed to death in broad daylight.

University Park is technically owned by the state government. The area often used to feed the homeless is fenced, and the litter box is the place for litter control.

Under the proposed city ordinance, donations will be allowed in public as long as the city is notified.

Markle said, “The board wanted to give the order more teeth, and with that, there’s an agreement added in existing language and some fines that can be associated with those who don’t register.”

Fines will start at $250 for the first offense, and $500 for the second dose. The Office of Public Health and Safety has already developed a file Registration Form On their website, there is no cost to register. There are several limitations; For example, there are no home cooked meals, and groups must follow some basic food safety preparation procedures.

Few groups called the proposed law an unnecessary hurdle, but Merkley said, “It’s just for us to have a general knowledge of who they serve and when and what they seem to understand as long as it doesn’t stop people from doing this important engagement….There wasn’t much pressure Until now “.

The council was scheduled to hear the proposal for the first time on Monday evening.

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