Bloomington banning overnight stays in park

By The Associated Press

BLOOMINGTON — The city of Bloomington is banning homeless people from staying overnight in a downtown park.

A new sign posted at Seminary Park reminds people it’s illegal to stay there overnight and tells them they have until Monday to vacate the space, The Herald Times reported.

The sign lists the phone numbers and addresses of seven local social service agencies that provide free lodging.

Earlier this week, 25 tents were pitched on a hill in the park.

The sign cites an ordinance the city intends to enforce.

“Camping is not allowed at any time in the public right-of-way. ... It is not safe for you. As it continues to get colder, you are in danger of frostbite and other cold-related illness or death," it said.

On Christmas Eve morning, a 51-year-old homeless man was found dead in the park after sleeping there overnight.

The sign says tents and personal belongings left at the park between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. will be removed and stored for 30 days.

Bloomington's action follows a similar one in Indianapolis. The capital has given residents who’ve been sleeping in and around Monument Circle until Tuesday to clear personal items from the area. It has posted notices around the circle alerting residents to the deadline.

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