Montpelier Decriminalizes Homeless Camping On City Property

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The city council in Montpelier has unanimously approved allowing emergency camping on city public property for the homeless because of a lack of affordable housing and shelter beds.

The city council on Wednesday voted to decriminalize such camping. It's not a long-term solution to homelessness but a short-term step as the city navigates an immediate affordable housing crisis, the policy states, according to mychamplainvalley.com.

City employees who find an encampment on public land must tell police and the city manager's office through email to determine how to respond, the news station reported. People camping in high-sensitivity areas will be asked to move within 24 hours and be connected with overnight shelters at no charge. After 24 hours, those camps could be removed by the city.