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Fort Collins City Council to determine fate of homeless locker program

Posted at 7:17 AM, Oct 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-09 09:17:17-04

FORT COLLINS-- The Fort Collins City Council will hear an appeal during its meeting Tuesday to get rid of lockers at a local church for people experiencing homelessness.

The city’s zoning and planning department approved a permit for the lockers back in July. However, just a couple of weeks later, residents that live by the church filed an appeal to have that permit revoked.

The lockers are at the Fort Collins Mennonite Fellowship church. There are currently 11 lockers that are offered to people experiencing homelessness for three months at a time.

Those who receive access to one must apply for it first and explain why they need it. They also have to agree to certain rules the church sets out. The lockers are under video surveillance 24/7 and are subject to search at any time.

Already, the church says the locker program is helping. On its website, the church said one of the people using the locker is eight months pregnant and another is living with disabilities. It also worked to dispel rumors about the crime associated with the homeless.

Still, neighbors cited safety concerns in filing their appeal against the locker program.

The city of Denver just did away with a similar pilot program in late September, saying people were living out of the lockers. There were also unconfirmed reports of people selling drugs and sex out of those lockers.

Denver7 went 360 on the issue back in July to share multiple viewpoints about the locker programs.

The Fort Collins city council will meet Tuesday evening to consider the appeal to the church’s permit. The meeting is open to the public but there will not be a public comment period during it. Instead, people are encouraged to weigh in beforehand.