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Durango considers what to do with homeless camp

Meg Hilling
September 19, 2017 06:20 AM

DURANGO, N.M. – Just three miles from downtown Durango is a controversial homeless camp that has once again experienced a stabbing.

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Officials at the La Plata County Sheriff's Office said an argument broke out between two campers over a makeshift grill.

"One struck the other with a large stick, and the other one, the victim, retaliated, and ended up stabbing the guy that (hit) him with the stick," said Chris Burke, LPCSO special operations resource officer.

A base to an estimated 35 people, the camp has been a topic of major concern for the city for months. A great deal of debate has been spurred as to whether or not a permanent camp should be set up, as well as just how much of it would fall under the city's jurisdiction.

"Since the city does not manage those types of facilities, we really needed to find someone who would. We currently haven't done that," Durango Assistant City Manager Kevin Hall said.

So how do residents feel about this camp? If you scroll through any online article or post, you are going to find a large mix of opinions as to how it should be addressed.

Right now both the city and sheriff's office are working to come up with a solution for the camp, one that works for both city residents and campers. Faith-based organizations are standing out as potential solutions for managing homeless camp spaces.

"We don't think this is the ideal camp spot, you know, but we are following guidelines through the Department of Justice at this point," Burke said.

Credits

Meg Hilling

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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