Plan Defeated to Ban Homeless Outside Springfield Library

Jul 11, 2018

The Springfield City Council has defeated an effort to keep homeless people from spending nights outside the Springfield Public Library.

Critics said ticketing the homeless and not offering an alternative would be the wrong approach. Alderman Kristin DiCenso says it's "repulsive" to turn poverty into a crime. The proposed ordinance was defeated Tuesday.

Mayor Jim Langfelder says he proposed the ordinance in response to concerns about safety. Supporters say restricting access to library property after hours would be no different than closing city parks overnight.

Some residents asked council members to be compassionate. Sheila Beebe says a son with post-traumatic stress had spent a night outside the library.

The mayor says he won't use his executive authority to close library grounds.