Written by AJ Douglas
Bangor — On Monday, business owners in downtown Bangor expressed their frustration at the disturbing behavior of Bangor’s homeless community to Bangor City Council.
“It’s so bad right now. You’ve seen my examples of what we’re looking at outside my store window,” said company owner Roxanne Munksgaard. people defecate. I see while I’m in my store and I have customers who tell me that they are afraid to come downtown to do their shopping.
“It’s been going on for a few years. I have been assaulted three times in the past month while walking out of my business in the morning…by people stealing stuff from my yard,” Carolina’s Sports Bar said.
“There are many needles around my studio,” said owner Kristen McKay Photo.
Bangor City Council President Rick Fournier explained that the city has a homelessness response plan developed by the Government Operations Committee that provides resources to the growing homeless population. The city council notes that the complexity of the problem likely means solutions will take time.
“We have a plan, but it cannot be implemented overnight. It’s a coordination and it’s a community effort,” Fournier said.
Council members reported that members of the homeless community still have rights that prevent the council from taking actions such as banning begging. As it is considered a form of freedom of expression.
Business owners shared some suggestions with the board.
“We need some sort of immediate task force or something to get over this,” Munksgaard said.
“I really feel like city needle exchange is a problem and just makes the problem worse for users,” McKay said.
“No camping and floating around the idea of using the old COVID-19 testing facility there on base. Put toilets and showers in this building. Let them put the services there and allow them to go there,” Leaf said.
Those interested in learning how the city is working to address housing insecurity can attend Government Operations Committee meetings in person or online on the first Monday of each month.