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City of Merced's homelessness advisory committee to meet Thursday afternoon

The city of Merced said its Citizens’ Advisory Committee on Homelessness will hold its first meeting at 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 7 in the Third Floor Conference Room of the Merced Civic Center, 678 W. 18th St.

The organizational meeting will include swearing-in of members, a review of the Brown Act, electing a chair and vice chair and setting a schedule for future meetings.

The Committee members were selected by the City Council at the Dec. 21 meeting. The committee is charged with answering eight questions about homeless camps in the city:--Are campgrounds warranted or not?--What funds will be used to pay for the campground? --Would the campground be permanent or temporary?--How long would people be allowed to camp there?--What kind of facilities would be at the campground and would they be ADA accessible?--What location criteria should be used to assure access to services and avoidance of neighborhood conflict?--Should the campground accommodate the “290” (registered sex offenders) or should it be targeted to other homeless populations?--What other organizations could be partners in operating the campground and serving its users?

The city said all meetings of the committee are open to the public and provide time for public comments on issues being discussed.

The committee is expected to provide its report to the City Council by April 6.