Bangor business owners call for action in homelessness crisis
BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Bangor business owners are calling for more action from City Council when it comes to the ongoing homelessness crisis.
One business owner claimed he has been assaulted.
Several mentioned needles and human waste found in front of their stores repeatedly.
One owner claimed customers have told her they are afraid to shop downtown.
City officials cited ongoing dialogue with resource centers and the push to unite and expand them, as well as affordable housing, noting these are not overnight fixes.
They also detailed the City’s new program to send social workers to mental health emergency calls instead of police.
“What City Council did approve this past year in the budget was called the BCAT Program,” Council Chair Rick Fournier said. “The Chief of Police is hiring four individuals, instead of doing all the continuous welfare checks that PD’s doing, there’s social workers that will be working directly with those individuals.”
Officials also mentioned their ongoing efforts with Built For Zero, which implemented a state-wide strategy to end homelessness earlier this year.
The city’s full list of resources and plans is accessible at bangormaine.gov/homelessness.
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