Roseburg City Council members reacted with confusion Monday night after a handful of city residents spoke against establishing an “exclusion zone” to bar the homeless from downtown. Mayor Larry Rich said he was unaware of any plan to create such a zone. Exclusion zones have been used in other cities, including Eugene, to prevent anyone charged with a crime from returning to a designated area. According to Ian Smith, AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer for the Douglas County Housing and Homeless Coalition, the laws tend to be unevenly enforced, criminalize the homeless and force them out of town. Smith and other city …
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