A community meeting was held on August 13th at the Village of West Union Municipal Building.
The meeting was called to order by Councilman Jason Francis. Residents, business owners, elected officials, government and social service agencies discussed their concerns and ideas of solutions with homelessness and crime in the Village of West Union. Those in attendance suggested contacting the owners of local drug rehabilitation facilities to create a plan so that when a patient drops out of the treatment facilities local authorities are notified. Suggestions also included creating a brochure with resources for the homeless, outreach, posting “no soliciting” signs at businesses, and creating neighbor watch groups.
According to Francis, the meeting was organized after receiving many reports of crime in the area relating to homelessness. “We [the Village of West Union] have been receiving reports of theft, breaking and entering, and situations that make people feel unsafe in our community,” said Francis.
“We are working to create a plan that will help those who need it while also making our community safe.” Francis continued, “Not everyone is who has committed these crimes are homeless and not everyone who is homeless commits crimes.”
“The citizens of West Union all feel the same way regarding the homeless situation in the village,” said Liz Lafferty. “Citizens are equally concerned with the drug epidemic, the safety of the elderly, and how we can find a common ground to find safe housing for homeless people not able to be served at the shelter and a way to track the individuals court-ordered to the drug rehabilitation programs in Adams County.”
The next community meeting will be held on August 27th at 6 p.m. at the Village of West Union Municipal Building.