New city park designation to have repercussions for the homeless

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MILFORD -

A Milford ordinance pertaining to parks and recreation that's been in place for decades has recently been updated to include the new Fowler Park – a decision that will have repercussions for homeless people in the area.

The area behind the Milford Public Library had been a known area for homeless people to sleep.

All city parks fall under an ordinance that bans sleeping and camping, along with consuming alcohol and littering. Violations could result in a citation or fine.

At least one homeless woman told News 12 that she thinks the city is trying to force her out of the area.

"Right now, it has turned me into a criminal,” says Mary Schipke. “I have not left. I've been back there for going on five years. I'm still there. I was there when they tacked the sign up."

Officials with the Beth El Center, a nearby homeless shelter, are encouraging the homeless population to utilize their services or any other social services in the area.

Beth El Center Director Jennifer Paradis says she is working with town government, law enforcement, the library and other entities to address the homelessness issue.

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