Columbia, South Carolina has decided to rescind its controversial decision tocriminalize homelessness after facing major backlash from police, city workers and advocates.
Columbia’s city council decided on Tuesday to reverse its unanimous vote that would have given homeless people the choice to either go to a remote shelter or get arrested, according to the Free Times. The council apologized, backtracked on its decision and said it would give homeless people the option to go to the shelter, but would not force them to.
“I will take responsibility for that getting into the public discourse,” Councilman Cameron Runyan said on Tuesday about his suggestion to force homeless people into confinement, according to the Free Times. “That is not the desire…We are not going to forcibly confine anyone.”
Runyan’s softer stance is a far cry from his stern Aug. 13 declaration.