(WatchDogReport.org) – The homeless in Casper, Wyoming are damaging property and leaving behind a huge “mess”, according to Mayor Bruce Knell. Knell, during recent interviews with local media, expressed his concern and frustration over the ongoing problem.
Casper is the second largest city in Wyoming with a population of 58,543. The homeless population accounts for about 200 individuals. Many of the homeless subjects came to Casper hoping to be accepted at the homeless shelter but were not able to be approved, or were approved and kicked out, so they end up living in vehicles, loitering in public areas, or squatting in vacant buildings that have no electricity or running water.
Squatters caused millions of dollars of damage to a vacant motel. The city condemned the building. The bank that owns the building had it boarded up, making it inaccessible due to the “unsafe” conditions created by the squatters.
Knell says the homeless are leaving a mess wherever they gather. They leave trash lying on the ground. The city recently had to clean around 500 pounds of human feces from a downtown area where the homeless tend to loiter.
Casper tries desperately to help those with no place to go. They have a shelter, but the shelter has rules and many of the homeless either will not or cannot follow the rules. Knell believes this to be due to substance abuse and mental health issues. The Salvation Army also provides beds and services for the homeless. The problem, according to Knell, is with those who refuse to comply with “ordinary living” by staying drug free, going to classes, and getting trained for a job.
The city council is looking at changing ordinances pertaining to camping and squatting to give law enforcement the tools they need to successfully curb some of the criminal behavior displayed by the homeless. Kell also said he believes more mental health services are needed to assist the people coming to Casper for the homeless resources.
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