The proposed ordinance that would prohibit overnight camping on public property was approved unanimously in its first reading by the Amarillo City Commission.
If the proposed ordinance gets approved in its second reading next Tuesday, in about a month the homeless underneath the bridge in "Tent City" will have to look for another place to live.
City Commissioner Ellen Robertson-Green says, "I think that limiting camping out in an area is an issue, not of beating up on homeless, but instead public safety and public health issue. And as a city commissioner, that's what I need to worry about."
Homeless under the bridge in "Tent City" who are from out of town are ok with moving back to their home state. Terry Blum says, "I been here since November. I live actually in New York. And I'm getting ready to go back. I've already purchased my bus ticket." Bob Collier says, "I've got plans in the works to go back over to New Mexico. It's not very easy. Some of the churches will help me get a bus pass."
But other homeless who are from Amarillo are struggling to find shelter. Faith City's Lighthouse for women and children is at capacity. Homeless Ramona McKinley says, "They only last like 30 days. You can go in 30 days then get out. And that's what we did before we stayed here a couple of weeks, to the salvation army for 30 days. And we were out so that's why we moved here... If we don't get a house before this time the meeting and stuff, well then I have no idea."
Amarillo Commissioner Robertson-Green says there are options. She says, "I would hope that anyone who wants to stay in Amarillo and is having a difficult time finding work or finding somewhere to live, would go to some place like Another Chance House or the Downtown Women Center or Faith City Mission or Salvation Army. And find a way to get back on their feet."