Milford City Council will discuss a proposed tiny home village for the homeless at a workshop 6 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall.
A council vote on the village is expected Feb. 26 during the regular council meeting, Campbell said.
“We know we need to help people,” said the mayor.
On Wednesday, council will be studying some of the opinions brought forward during a Jan. 29 public hearing about the village. They include the location of the village, long-time funding and how addiction issued will be handled.
Milford Mayor Archie Campbell said about 60 percent of those attending the hearing were for the village, 25 percent were against it and 15 percent weren’t sure.
“Both sides brought up some really great points,” said Martha Gery, founder and president of Milford Advocacy for the Homeless.
Gery said since the hearing she has been in discussions to address concerns brought up about the village with the mayor and other organizations.
“Part of the problem we have and I learned — we don’t want to put it downtown,” Campbell said.
“Homeless people don’t make purchases downtown. They can’t afford to,” Gery said.
She said representatives from the state’s social services office would be available at the tiny home village, eliminating the need for clients to travel downtown to the state building.
Another concern is funding for the village.
She has been told there are enough funds available to develop and operate the tiny homes for two years.
“What happens after those funds run out?” is a question Gery said needs to be resolved.
“I do not want this going on the taxpayers,” Campbell said.
A five- to 10-year funding plan is something that will be explored at Wednesday’s council workshop.
Addiction issues of the homeless concern citizens opposed to the village.
At last month’s hearing, Springboard Collaborative Director Judson Malone detailed amnesty boxes used at the Georgetown tiny home village.
The boxes, about shoebox size, are available for residents to lock up any items before entering the village, “no questions asked.”
Gery said Milford Advocacy for the Homeless is not in support of amnesty boxes.
They also don’t support allowing anyone with an active addiction to live in a tiny home village
“There are other programs out there for those with addiction issues,” said Gery.
The homeless advocacy group wants people with addiction to first seek help and once in recovery apply for residency in the village
Milford Advocacy estimates that there are approximately 200 homeless individuals in town limits.
“That’s a lot of people in cars, empty houses and tent cities,” Campbell said.
The mayor said there are three types of homeless people: those who prefer being on the streets; those who don’t want to be homeless and want to start their life over; and those with mental health or addiction issues.
He said at least once a day he gets an email or a phone call related to the homeless population.
“There’s nothing I can do,” Campbell said. “They aren’t breaking the law.”
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