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Wheat Ridge Has Plan For Helping Homeless

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. (CBS4) - Denver's new unauthorized camping ordinance intended to get homeless people and others from sleeping on the streets at night could mean more trouble for nearby cities.

There are some fears the homeless will be on the move, and Wheat Ridge officials say they are looking to enforce their ban on camping that's already in effect.

Businesses in Aurora have been worried about Denver's ban, and Englewood already has a ban. Lakewood officials told CBS4 on Wednesday they haven't seen an increase in problems since Denver's ban.

Instead of arresting offenders in Wheat Ridge, authorities will be handing out pamphlets that have the names and numbers to places that can help them.

The pamphlets contain information about shelters and places where homeless people can find food and medical care.

The greenbelt area in Wheat Ridge is a perfect spot for a bike ride or a game of fetch in the water with your dog. It's also a perfect spot for the homeless to camp, something police are trying to put a stop to.

"We have an ordinance against camping in public places in the parks in Greenbelt and so we need to make sure we are enforcing that," police spokeswoman Lisa Spinder said. "Folks want to feel safe and they want to feel as though they can walk their dogs and have their children in areas where they won't stumble upon someone who is sleeping or maybe consuming alcohol."

If an offender is stopped repeatedly in Wheat Ridge, police can cite them depending on the circumstance. That could happen if there's property damage or the offender has an outstanding warrant.

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