Gem Show rules for the homeless - FOX Carolina 21

Gem Show rules for the homeless

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The Tucson Police Department will meet with the homeless and their advocates Friday morning to go over details of rules and regulations for the Gem Show.

The Department has been designated as the one which will deliver the rules to the homeless and enforce them.

What the rules are, isn't known yet.

The Tucson city manager met with the police department this afternoon to finalize its desired goals.

There is some anxiety because Primavera delivered an ultimatum this morning saying if the homeless refuse services, they will be given a 72 hour notice to vacate.

It was hard to determine what that means.

"We're not clear on that," says Michele Ream from Primavera. "So we're waiting on the city to exactly clarify what that would mean.

"It's a free country, it's a free park," says Tucson City Manager Richard Miranda.

He's talking about Viente de Augusto Park in the heart of downtown Tucson.

It's become home to 80 to 100 homeless in the past few months, a safe place to sleep and hang out, made so by homeless advocates who know resources for the homeless are scant.

But soon it will also be home to the city's concierge service for the Gem Show attendees.

It will be a culture clash.

In past years, the city "encouraged" the homeless to leave downtown during the Gem Show run but this year appears to be more tolerant.

"We have permitted the park for specific use and it allows us some latitude as to who comes in and who doesn't," Miranda says.

Gem Show visitors who want to find a good restaurant, hotel accommodations, or do some sightseeing will come to the park.

Under the rules, the homeless will not be allowed to sleep in the park during the day but will be allowed to sleep on the sidewalk at night.

"My understanding is they have a legal right to be on the sidewalk," says homeless advocate Michele Mead. "We'll see how that plays out."

There's some doubt because the city has yet to make it clear what the rules are.

The Tucson Police Department will release the rules later in the week.

This follows conversations with the city manager's office.

Miranda agrees the homeless will be allowed to sleep there from 10:30 p.m. until 7 a.m "as long as there's a pathway for people to walk."

Parks and Rec is providing a map to the homeless for services during the day to hopefully encourage them to leave the area during the day.

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