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Colorado city OKs ‘tough love’ approach to homelessness

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Lawmakers approved a harsher camping ban along the I-225 corridor and established the HEART court, which handles low level offenses by homeless people.

AURORA, Colo. — Aurora councilmembers on Monday night decided to outright ban camping along the I-225 corridor and establish a court specifically for misdemeanors involving homeless people.

The proponents on the council are calling the twin moves a “tough love” approach, which affirms Aurora’s preferred path to curbing its homelessness problem — by giving individuals the opportunity to accept services, including treatment, on the one hand, and by adopting, on the other hand, a policy akin to zero tolerance for people who refuse help.

The proposal to establish a court passed unanimously, while the camping ban sailed through with three ‘no’ votes from councilmembers Alison Coombs, Crystal Murillo and Ruben Medina.

The camping ban puts the entire I-225 corridor under a new trespass ordinance, in which individuals are ticketed and given a date to appear in court. And, as envisioned, the specialized court will deal with low-level offenses by homeless people, such as violating the trespass ordinance, illegal drug possession or retail theft.

>Read the full story on the Denver Gazette.

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Colorado city OKs ‘tough love’ approach to homelessness

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