In a Sept. 27 press release, the Bozeman Chamber of Commerce addressed the growing urban camping and homelessness population in the city.
As a starting point, the chamber discussed their assistance in raising a $2.25 million match with Gallatin County to build a 24/7/365 warming shelter, Homeward Point.
Afterward, the chamber requested that the city enforces public health and safety laws, and adopts an original ordinance drafted by City of Bozeman attorneys and disagrees with recent amendments made. Before passage of the ordinance in late September, the Bozeman City Commission amended the five-day stay ordinance, according to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. The amendment increased the length of stay for urban camping from five to 30 days.
“Although an inconvenience, the intent of enforcing our current laws is not to punish the unhoused but [to address] Public Safety and Public Health for all citizens of Bozeman,” the chamber’s release stated.
The release continued, stating, “Individuals and families that are providing for our workforce should be able to meet the five days in one place, while maintaining a clean and safe environment.”
The chamber finished the release by urging Bozeman elected officials to prioritize public health and safety.