LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – City leaders are proposing a change in policy after a WHAS11 News report exposed a flaw in the system.
After a homeless camp was cleared without proper notice, more than a dozen people lost their belongings. WHAS11 News covered the camp clearing and brought questions to city leaders about how and why it happened the way it did
Several weeks later, a new ordinance has been filed at Metro Hall in hopes that it won't happen again.
The men and women who live their lives on the streets of Louisville rely on people like Wendy Manganaro and her organization, Fed with Faith, to make it through the day.
That's why she was one of the first to learn about a new ordinance filed by Metro Councilman Bill Hollander, with the purpose of protecting the homeless.
"I'm thrilled that he did this,” Manganaro said.If passed, the ordinance would require Metro employees to give 21 days’ notice before a camp is cleared.
That would include posting signs at the camp and getting in contact with the Coalition For the Homeless so they can be part of the process.
"We're talking here about everything that somebody owns- suddenly disappearing, and we can really do better without having that happen without proper notice to people”, Metro Councilman Bill Hollander said.Taking it a step further, the ordinance also asks the city to store personal belongings that are left behind. Right now, they are thrown away with other trash when the camps are cleared.
Although grateful, Manganaro said she still has her concerns.
"It’s a step in the right direction that the conversation is happening, that the ordinance is getting brought up but there is still not a strategic plan for the individuals that this is affecting,” Manganaro said.Hollander said he's open to suggestions.
Manganaro said she is hopeful this is the start of change that Louisville desperately needs."We are coined the compassionate city and it's never compassionate to tell somebody to run off, they can't sleep here, they can't do this and they can't do that. There's no compassion in that,” she said.
The ordinance will be reviewed at a public safety committee meeting next week and could be voted on by Metro Council as early as Dec. 14.