City officials speak out on homelessness in Meridian

Published: May. 19, 2023 at 7:37 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - News 11 continues our coverage of a story that ran Thursday night about the homeless population in downtown Meridian.

One city council member wanted to hear firsthand from these business owners about their experiences. Councilwoman Ty Bell Lindsey wanted to express some ideas to the owners on what the council could do to make this situation better.

“We’re going to talk about that in the work session, definitely. I’m going to bring out those ordinances to the work session, lay them all down, how we can enforce some of these strategies so, therefore, we can get the homeless the help that they need,” said Lindsey.

News 11 also spoke with the Community Development Director Craig Hitt to fully understand why the city is struggling to manage this crisis.

“Unfortunately, a lot of our ordinances are not as strong as maybe they need to be because of past history and what we’re dealing with today. You know, whether it’s dilapidated buildings or homeless issues, things are just different today than they’ve been in the past. So that was part of the conversation that we had here in a meeting in community development this morning, that maybe we need to look at ordinances and try to do some research on what some other communities are doing and make some recommendations to the council that maybe could make our ordinances stronger. That would make a difference,” said Hitt.

The next city council work session will be May 30 at 9:30 a.m. on the third floor of City Hall.