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City Of Atwater Cracks Down On Homeless With New Ordinance

File / Rich Pedroncelli / AP

A homeless person sleeps on a sidewalk in Sacramento, Calif.,Tuesday, April 23, 2013.

File / Rich Pedroncelli / AP

Businesses in downtown Atwater say  the problem is growing by the day.

Marie Middleton owns a florist shop, she says for her is the debris scattered about as homeless people search through trash bins.

"The garbage areas do get pretty trashed sometimes, being that it's done regularly, meaning the mess, it does get pretty messy around the garbage cans."

Atwater's new ordinance forbids sleeping, camping, or storing belongings outdoors.

Mayor James Price says the homeless camping in parks and alleyways has become a growing problem.

"There was also a lot of human waste out there and  this got to be something that is becoming a health and safety issue."

Price says violations can bring fines or jail time, but he says the real purpose of the ordinance is to force them to leave the area when asked to.



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Rich Ibarra

Contributing Central Valley/Foothills Reporter

As the Central Valley correspondent, Rich Ibarra covers San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Merced counties, along with the foothill areas including Tuolumne and Calaveras counties. He covers politics, the economy and issues affecting the region.   Read Full Bio 

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