DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — According to Dothan Mayor Mark Saliba, the homeless population in Dothan is dwindling.
“Right now, the homeless population is at an all-time low,” Mayor Saliba said.
But there are still some issues with the homeless in downtown Dothan.
“Obviously we want to be compassionate about people’s circumstances, but if people have a complete disregard for rules and regulations we have in the city, that is an obvious problem,” Dothan District 5 City Commissioner, Gantt Pierce.
Pierce says there are issues with the homeless taking up shelter in abandoned buildings, leaving these areas and the streets littered with trash, vandalizing buildings, and more, even at his own business downtown.
“We face it a lot here at our property downtown. Having things in the parking lot, leaving and busting things in the parking lot. So you know it becomes a nuisance,” Pierce said.
Pierce even says community members have reached out to express their concern with the issue as well.
“People downtown have identified as a problem. It’s absolutely something we have to look at, we have to figure it out and do what we can do to solve the problem,” Pierce said.
Mayor Saliba says he has worked to decrease the homeless population in Dothan since he was elected to office, but ultimately it’s not the city that can help the most, but rather the community and organizations throughout the Wiregrass that are already stepping up.
“This is something the whole community has to participate in,” Mayor Saliba said. “It’s never going to be fixed, all we can do is offer our hand to those that have been hurting in the past,”