Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - Missoula Mayor Andrea Davis, along with City Council President Amber Sherrill, met with reporters on Tuesday at the City Council Chambers to share results from her ‘Urban Camping Work Group’ that has been working over the past few months on a resolution addressing the city’s approach to what is now being termed ‘urban crisis camping’.

The New Term is 'Urban Crisis Camping' in Missoula

“The administration has certainly committed to this work with the aim of getting people connected to shelter and ultimately to a roof over their head and necessary services to help them live stable lives,” began Mayor Davis. “I wanted to again emphasize that this work that we're doing by putting this report out to the public on Engage Missoula, that this resolution is really the first step of many.”

Mayor Davis further explained the purpose of the work group.

“The city is committed to ongoing efforts to support those experiencing homelessness by continuing to work with community partners, including the ongoing work to develop the community strategy to address houselessness,” began Mayor Davis. “So with this in mind, I convened a working group in February, and this working group shared various perspectives from different interests in our community on the challenges for people and by people living unsheltered.”

There will be Specific Restrictions in Missoula City Parks

With summer here and school giving way to camps and other activities, President Sherrill provided some concrete guardrails to keep children safer in the city’s parks and recreation areas.

“Within specific parks that have heavy summer activities such as kid’s camps and events within 100 feet of playgrounds, athletic fields, splash decks, dog parks, etc,” said Sherrill. “50 feet from our rivers and creeks including those side channels 10 feet from any trail or bikepath; 300 feet from a school or a daycare; 1,000 feet from any shelter facility; 100 feet from residential units; 100 feet from commercial or nonprofit entrances and 600 feet from any future designated camping or safe parking sites.”

READ MORE: Missoula Urban Camping Working Group Takes Public Comments

Mayor Davis said 'Government Cannot do this Alone'

After taking questions from the few reporters at the press conference, Mayor Davis emphasized the fact that all Missoula residents will need to pull together to address the problem of homelessness.

“One thing that I would love to leave this press conference with is that again the city cannot do this alone,” the Mayor said. “Government cannot do this alone, and we need the private sector; we need community members to work alongside us to try to figure out solutions and so I think this is a real opportunity to start that work together.”

Following the press conference, Mayor Davis told me that around the nation and the world, homelessness is becoming ‘the new normal’.

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Gallery Credit: jessejames

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