PALO ALTO (KCBS)— The Palo Alto City Council approved a new ordinance that will ban sleeping in cars during a Monday night meeting. However, city leaders said more still needs to be done to help the homeless.
Dozens of homeless advocates packed the City Council meeting that went late into the night to attack the ordinance they said was mean spirited and unconstitutional.
Those who sympathized with car dwellers said that if you ban the car that you’re essentially eliminating a family’s emergency home. Others said the ban wouldn’t be able to be enforced.
The ban will apply city-wide, but much of the concern is being focused on the growing number of cars being used as shelter near the Cubberley Community Center.
Neighbors who live near the center said the area is becoming unsafe for families and that children aren’t being allowed to go outside. One woman who spoke claimed she feared her or her family could be exposed to flashers.
The new ban wouldn’t be enforced until 2014 with police officers steering the homeless to support services before issuing citations.
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