Jeffersonville could spend $30K on homelessness consultant - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Jeffersonville could spend $30K on homelessness consultant

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JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- The city of Jeffersonville is considering spending up to $30,000 on a consultant to find a long-term solution to the city's problem with homelessness.

Mayor Mike Moore recently created the task force that includes a police officer, two ministers, a grant writer, homeless advocates and an attorney - among others - with the hopes that members will come up with a ten-year plan to fix the problem.

Just last week, the redevelopment commission approved $15,000 for the hiring of a consultant. The task force plans to ask for another $15,000 at Monday's city council meeting, Moore told WDRB News.

But advocates for the homeless - including a member of Moore's task force - argue that the money could be better spent helping the homeless right now, many of whom are being forced out by bridge construction.

"We understand the homeless are in an area that they should not be in, but where do they go when all the woods are being demolished?" said Moore. "This just started a few days ago. We actually had one camp that was cleared out.

"We understand that there is a need for a plan - a 10-year plan to end homelessness. But what we see right now is that we've got roughly 40 people under the bridge that we need to immediately get to now."

One homeless resident, who asked to be identified only as "Chris," said there are still ill feelings between the homeless community and the city, stemming from an incident last November when the city, in an attempt to remove trash, cleared out several homeless camps in the process, angering many.

"I've been under one of the overpasses -- in fact I was under this one for four months now. I've been at tent city ever since," he said.

"Chris" didn't want his face shown but is among the dozens being pushed out as land is cleared for construction of a new Ohio River bridge.

"It's pretty bad, it's pretty bad still. There is still a lot of harassment around," he said. 

Moore says he hopes the task force will be able to come up with a concrete solution in the next few months.

"They don't have a concrete answer. That's what's this is seeking to do. Something that fixes or assists the homeless issues we have here in Jeffersonville," Moore said.

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