The Hoquiam City Council met on Wednesday, April 27 and held a public hearing on a proposed ordinance regarding the regulations for homeless encampments in the City of Hoquiam. The public present at the meeting showed support in their numbers, some voicing their concern that the ordinance may be too much.
Included in the ordinance is the requirement that churches apply for a permit to host a camp. The ordinance would also allow churches a maximum of 90 days. The ordinance mandates churches to notify the city of a proposed homeless encampment a minimum of thirty days in advance of the camp's establishment.
Members of the public suggested certain amendments to the ordinance, and were mainly concerned over the ordinance's proposal to check encampment residents for existing warrants. One member of the public explained that most homeless people will have a warrant due to poverty and enforcing the rule would almost render the encampments useless. Others suggested that specific crimes such as child abuse be screened instead of warrants altogether. Church Pastors wondered why it was that the city was intervening now when they haven't in the past.
The commission decided to table the ordinance until a later meeting. The date for the next public hearing has not been determined yet.