During the Lewiston City Council’s Sept. 20 meeting, Councilor Scott Harriman asked why we needed a buffer zone.

The question was swept under the rug, and the motion continued. Despite the fact city councilors disagreed with the buffer zones, they compromised and approved a 250-foot buffer zone between schools, day cares and homeless shelters.

The meeting returned to public comment, where members of the public asked for the reason why. It was again swept under the rug.

I would like to take it upon myself to answer the “why.” They want a buffer zone because they are feeding the monster of stigma toward the unhoused and homeless. The stigma that says they are dangerous.

Our City Council fails to think about or understand that the homeless are around our schools and day cares every day. They sleep in the trees between the Longley school and the high school. One can find the homeless in the park and even against the fence at Promise Early Education as we pick up and drop our children off in the morning.

How does this buffer protect or really change these things? Do we think new shelters are going to come into Lewiston with all of these extra hurdles to jump over?

I know Jesus L/A will open the women’s home elsewhere, and I doubt I will be able to move forward with shelter plans meeting these requirements.

Raychel Ward, Lewiston

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