City council passes "Emergency Homeless Response" plan
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCIV) -- In a new plan passed by the Columbia City Council, people who appear to be homeless in the city's downtown area will be asked by police to move to a shelter on the outskirts of the city, according to an article in Time.According to the presentation of the "Emergency Homeless Response" plan presented to the city council on August 13, the homeless population in the city is "disproportionately affecting the downtown districts of the city."Three transport vans will be used to move the people to the emergency shelter, according to the plan's outline. The plan does not allow for foot traffic when moving to the shelter. According to the State newspaper, if a person refuses to move to the shelter, "they could be arrested under a range of public nuisance laws that include loitering, public intoxication, public urination, aggressive panhandling or trespassing."From September 2013- March 2014, the plan calls for an emergency shelter to be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The shelter is currently slated to operate November through March.