The City of Fort Collins will host a public meeting from 7-8 p.m. Thursday, August 13, to discuss best practices that could address ongoing disruptive behaviors and other issues that affect the Downtown experience for businesses, residents and visitors. The meeting will be at Northside Aztlan Community Center, 112 Willow St.
At the meeting, attendees will be asked to provide their opinions and reactions to proposed street outreach programs and potential city code changes related to disruptive behaviors. Technology will be used at the meeting to gather anonymous public input in a safe environment and share those results with attendees in real time. Residents can also take the survey online at http://ow.ly/QCXRR through Monday, August 17. Opinions expressed through the meeting and in surveys will be used to inform City Council on August 18 for potential immediate action on outreach programs and/or code changes.
“We are compassionate about people in our community who are chronically homeless and struggling to take care of basic needs.” said Fort Collins City Manager, Darin Atteberry. “We want the community’s help to identify ways to more quickly address Downtown issues, particularly those individuals who are disruptive or in need of referrals to available and appropriate services. Our goal is to protect the health and welfare of individuals while ensuring a safe Downtown and thriving business environment for everyone. This is just one piece of the equation. We will continue to work collaboratively on a multi-pronged approach to address such issues as mental illness and poverty that contribute to homelessness.”
Some of the best practices under consideration are modeled after successes from Burlington, Vermont. Community leaders are visiting Burlington this weekend to learn more about its 13-year-old Street Outreach program. The program engages volunteers to respond to non-criminal Downtown behaviors and address problems as they occur. The Fort Collins team, including the City’s Social Sustainability director and representatives of Homeward 2020, the DDA and Police Services, will visit with Burlington police, mental health officials, United Way and others.