There will be no new homeless shelters built in Lewiston for at least the next six months.
The Lewiston City Council passed the moratorium Tuesday night. It comes after the council was presented with a proposal for a new 24-hour homeless shelter earlier this year.
Four of the seven councilors were concerned how much a low-barrier shelter would burden public safety and other resources. Some at the public hearing agreed.
“The decisions that we’re making, the amount of money that needs to be put up to get a project like this done and done right takes time,” said Steve Bannister, a Lewiston resident.
The majority of those speaking at Tuesday night’s council meeting were opposed to a moratorium.
Others told the council that stalling the work on a new shelter will negatively impact the city’s homeless.
“Low barrier doesn’t mean anything goes. It means easier to access and it means filling real gaps in our community,” said Linea Hawkins, a Lewiston resident.
The moratorium will go into effect in 30 days and will be retroactive to March 28. It’s set to expire Sept. 25.