2022 Bloomington budget released same day as encampment clearance, includes 6 new on-the-ground, non-sworn public safety positions

Early in the day on Friday, an encampment of people experiencing homelessness under the B-Line bridge at Grimes Lane was cleared by Bloomington city workers.

That was expected, based on Tuesday’s posting of notices near the encampment, with a Friday deadline for vacating.

Later on Friday, Bloomington mayor John Hamilton briefed the press on the proposed 2022 budget that his administration had earlier released to city councilmembers.

The city council will receive presentations from department heads over the course of four meetings next week.  The final budget will be presented to the council in September, with a final vote in October.

Hamilton was asked during the press briefing if there was anything in his 2022 budget to increase resources to help people as soon as they resorted to camping under a bridge, to avoid repeating the pattern of larger encampments followed eventually by a clearance.

Hamilton replied by citing the millions of dollars in the budget for trying to help those who are facing homelessness, or challenges to success in a workplace or educational environment.

Hamilton added, “There’s a lot of investment that we are proposing to help support the housing insecurity task force.” The task force is led by United Way of Monroe County, Community Foundation of Monroe County and the South Central Housing Network, and released a report in July that outlines a plan to make homelessness “rare, brief and non-repeating.” Continue reading “2022 Bloomington budget released same day as encampment clearance, includes 6 new on-the-ground, non-sworn public safety positions”