Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - The City of Missoula, as part of its effort to address the issue of homelessness, publishes a weekly update on urban camping within the city limits.

On the City of Missoula website, that weekly report can be found here.

In addition, the city provides information of the actions it legally can and cannot take to address the issue.

Here's what the City CAN do About Homelessness

What the city CAN do includes; enforcing city health and safety codes; keeping public spaces open for public use; the city works with community partners to help connect people with alternatives and solutions for the problem of homelessness; the city can and will remove encampments that may pose a health or safety hazard after a proper notice period has been provided to the urban camper; and the city can perform site cleanup and an appropriate notice period.

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Here's what the City CANNOT do About Homelessness

What the city CANNOT do includes; the city cannot remove people and their tents solely for camping; the city ‘cannot impose criminal penalties for sitting, sleeping, or lying outside on public property for homeless people who cannot obtain shelter’, (according to a Ninth U.S. Circuit Court decision.)

The city cannot impose criminal enforcement against homeless individuals who use ‘the most rudimentary precautions’ that a homeless individual might take against the elements, such as bedding, blankets or sleeping bags’ (again according to a Ninth U.S. Circuit Court decision.)

The City of Missoula cannot provide year-round shelter beds for all who need it with the city’s current budget constraints.

Learn about the Martin v Boise Case from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

In addition, cities in nine western states are currently operating under the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in the ‘Martin v Boise’ case, which aims to prevent the criminalization of homelessness.

Click here to learn more about the City of Missoula’s process and the court ruling it is operating under.

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