The revitalization efforts continue on Henderson’s Water Street, but business owners tell 8 News Now the impact the homeless have made in recent years has become a problem. At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, they didn’t hold back.

“There’s tons of defecation and trash in front of my business,” Kyle Duthie explained.

Duthie owns “Little Chapel on the Corner.” He was among those expressing frustration at Henderson’s City Council meeting.

The city passed a new “camping ordinance” that would deter the homeless from setting up camp in public places and rights of way. Sleeping, laying down or placing personal property in public places would not be allowed among other things.

Carrie Halliday, who owns Downtown Sewing Machine Company, said the homeless population on Water Street is overwhelming — and it’s impacting her work.

“At one point, they were camping so badly that nobody wanted to bring their kids. Some of the homeless are harmless, but many are on drugs, or they have some type of mental illness,” Halliday said.

People who don’t comply with the new bill could face six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. But the new ordinance is also providing help for those in need.

It isn’t until an individual refuses to go to an available shelter that a citation or an arrest can be made.

A look at the full ordinance:

Henderson Mayor Michelle Romero wants to make it clear that in no way is the city trying to villainize those experiencing homelessness. But those who refuse help will have to go elsewhere.

“It’s not criminalizing homelessness. It’s putting all the pieces together to address the situation which has grown worse over time in Henderson as we didn’t use to have this problem,” Romero said.

In 2021, the city launched the Henderson Homeless Response Team. Since enacted, the city has received almost 300 service calls related to homelessness. That number continues to grow.