A new Homelessness Task Force held their first-ever meeting this Thursday morning. The group is comprised of local officials, law enforcement officers, non-profit leaders and other concerned citizens.

Task force members are charged with exploring options to combat the issues related to homelessness in Rome.  New ordinances regarding ‘urban camping’ and ‘panhandling’ were recently reviewed during a meeting of the Rome City Commission and sent back to the Public Safety Committee for further review.

Devon Smyth, Director of The Shelter and the Ruth and Naomi House of the William S. Davies Homeless Shelters, believes that the ongoing debate in the community on the subject has paved the way for local leaders to change their way of thinking about how to deal with the homeless.

Smyth adds that an actual vote on the proposed ordinances is at least a month away, following first and second readings by the Rome City Commission.

The Homelessness Task Force 2019 is scheduled to hold a second meeting on September 26th.