ROSEBURG, Ore. -- The Roseburg City Council is making it easier to open emergency homeless shelters during the winter months.
On Monday, the council made changes to the Severe Event Ordinance, which kept shelters out of certain residential areas and required specific permits to operate.
However, they said the changes will ease the requirements.
“They had to get a conditional use permit, which required a hearing. They had to notify all of the businesses around them within a certain time frame, so it created this bureaucratic checklist,” said communication specialist Eric Johnson.
Johnson said passing the changes to the ordinance was a priority for the council, especially with the winter months around the corner.
“The key issue was timing,” said Johnson. “We’re going into the winter season where temperatures can get into the high 20s, (low) 30s where certain individuals, such as homeless are impacted by this.”
Johnson said these shelters are only temporary, specifically when the temperature drops below freezing.
The council also approved the establishment of the city homeless commission, which will start next year.