MERCED -- The city released its detailed plan this week to enforce the city's no-camping ordinance and in so doing disband the city's homeless encampments by Nov. 3.
Earlier in the year, the council voted to enforce the city's no-camping ordinance through a six-month phased implementation, which this plan more fully explains.
The plan -- which was criticized by some for its failure to address where the homeless will go after they are evicted from their current location and for not facing the thorny issue of where sex offenders will go -- has a five-point timeline.
First, the homeless will be told they have 60 days to leave on Aug. 3. Packets will inform each person of the kinds of aid available in the city.
Second, the homeless will be notified again of the impending closure when there are 30 days left. At the time every individual will be given an inventory form for their belongings. Barrels will be made available if they want to store their belongings for 90 days at the Police Department.
Third, a site visit will be conducted with Merced's social services agencies -- led by the Human Services Agency -- and other support groups so they can discuss with each resident on what kinds of services can be provided.
Fourth, on Nov. 3 the police will lead the camps' closure.
Sites will be photographed, and all items left behind will be documented for later retrieval. A final census will be taken, and each individual will be given a final notice to vacate the premises.
Fifth, the site will be cleaned by a hazardous waste firm.
Afterward code enforcement will monitor the site so that no new camps are set up.
Although the city now has a step-by-step plan to remove the homeless from their camps, many criticized the plan for failing to solve the problem of homelessness or the more intractable issue of where homeless sex offenders should live.