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Waynesville homeless task force meeting cancelled over COVID concerns

Amy Murphy-Nugen, chair of the task force, presents draft recommendations at a meeting in July. Amy Murphy-Nugen, chair of the task force, presents draft recommendations at a meeting in July. Cory Vaillancourt photo

A meeting designed to gather public input on draft recommendations  made by the Waynesville Task Force on Homelessness scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 5, has been cancelled. 

Amy Murphy-Nugen, chair of the group, said that several members of the task force had been exposed to COVID-19 and that the meeting, which was to be a drop-in informational session, could not take place as originally envisioned. 

The cancellation is yet another bump in the road for the task force, which struggled initially with defections and dissention. Over the 18-month lifespan of the group, the issue of homelessness was studied and recommendations — some controversial — were finally issued last month. 

Contrary to rumors circulating on social media, the meeting wasn’t cancelled to stifle public input on the recommendations, and Murphy-Nugen said that public comment will indeed be accepted in some form yet to be determined — whether in-person, online, by phone or otherwise. 

The public comment portion of the process is a critical step, and must take place before any recommendations are presented for approval to Waynesville’s Board of Aldermen. 

To read the full 147-page draft report , including methodology, findings and recommendations, visit the Town of Waynesville’s task force page, www.waynesvillenc.gov/task-force-homelessness

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