An organization that advocates for people experiencing homelessness wants Frederick officials to develop different long-term plans for helping the city’s homeless population.
The latest call comes after precariously housed people set up camp on the lawn of City Hall over the weekend.
Kristen Lundy, of the social justice group Frederick United, said the group is prepared to repeat a situation that saw tents pitched on the lawn of City Hall Saturday and Sunday by people experiencing homelessness and their supporters after they had been moved off of another piece of property because of imminent development.
The previous owners of the property hadn’t seemed concerned about people staying on it, Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor said Monday.
But when a new owner bought the property and moved toward starting development, they were told they had to leave.
The members of the encampment set up tents on the grounds of City Hall Saturday to bring attention to the issue of homelessness in the city, Lundy said.
They left Sunday, and many in the group have been provided with housing through Thursday, she said, but they expect the city to have a concrete plan by Friday.
“Otherwise, we will be right back at City Hall,” Lundy said.
O’Connor said that the city has existing partnerships with the Religious Coalition for Emergency Human Needs, the Rescue Mission, and other nonprofit organizations that work to address issues of housing.
“Individuals who need housing, our partnership is with the Religious Coalition,” O’Connor said.
Some people are more difficult to house because of extenuating circumstances. That can include matters of mental health, substance abuse and an awareness available resources, the mayor said.
“That problem is a much deeper and wider conversation,” O’Connor said.