It’s not enough to spend $1000 a month for port-a-potties for Brattleboro’s growing homeless population. Business community representatives want better communication and more concrete ideas to stop the panhandling, public urination/defecation and other problems associated with a street population. Town officials say they are doing what they can to stop drug crime but are limited by the Constitution to take some measures suggested. They also blame insurance companies for not tackling the opioid abuse problem. Meanwhile some businesses have voted with their feet, closing shop due (at least in part) to chronic panhandling being a nuisance to potential customers.
"The problem isn't the panhandling/homelessness, unfortunately it is everywhere," Flutie wrote in an email to the Reformer. "The problem is how the town of Brattleboro handles it, and views it. I believe someone on the Select Board once said, '... dealing with the situation with compassion and dignity.' That's a cop-out for basically we will do nothing and make no decisions. The pressure for change must be put on the Select Board."
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