Bellingham works to expand shelter options for homeless, clean up encampments
BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — Bellingham officials are working to expand shelter options for people as it again begins to clean up homeless camps.
The Bellingham Herald reports a Homeless Outreach Team is tasked with connecting people with services ahead of enforcement.
Police will work alongside parks or public works staff to coordinate cleanups.
The city wants to set up a shelter without restrictions, like a ban on pets, as staff and community groups pursue efforts to address homelessness.
Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville says the city stopped clearing out homeless camps amid a falling number of places for people to go.
She said the city would clean up camps only to have more spring up elsewhere.
Linville said a lack of enforcement isn’t helping people, public health, or the environment.