BOULDER CITY – City Manager Al Noyola pulled together a team of staff in City Hall, Parks and Recreation, Attorney’s Office, Police Department and the Courts to create recommendations to address providing assistance to those individuals and families experiencing homelessness in the community. Boulder City does not currently have a homeless program or shelter.
The Task Force, comprised of eleven City employees and led by Julie Calloway, Parks and Recreation Manager, came up with five recommendations: Proactive Enforcement of City Ordinances, Community Engagement, Update City Code, Evaluate Progress, and the possible creation of a court program similar to “Breaking the Cycle” for people experiencing repeated episodes of homelessness.
The Police Department recently sent officers in off-highway vehicles and on horseback to check on individuals camping on undeveloped land. “Our officers found people using mine shafts and camps that had been their ‘home base’ for months, even years,” said Police Chief Tim Shea. “We are concerned about safety and environmental hazards in these locations. Officers will work with the Bureau of Land Management to encourage the campers to find safe accommodations.” Proposals to change city code include tightening up the camping rule to certain locations and banning urination or defecation in public.
Community Engagement includes consensual, conversational contacts; creating and training a Homeless Outreach Team made up of volunteers and Police Officers to share resources with people experiencing homelessness; and collaboration with expert stakeholders.
“All City parks close at 10 p.m. for the safety and comfort of our community at large,” said Calloway. “Our first task is to make sure signage is properly displayed. The enforcement of this ordinance applies to anyone found in parks after hours.”
City Manager Al Noyola credits the task force for hearing community concerns and developing multiple approaches to help people experiencing homelessness. “In September, I asked this group to develop recommendations as quickly as possible, and they met the challenge with passion and dedication while working on their other daily tasks,” said Noyola. “These recommendations are thoughtful, sensitive, and can make an immediate impact. I appreciate the hard work of our staff.”