Leaders at Brother Francis Shelter and Bean’s Cafe are taking action in reminding people that camping and loitering near traffic aren’t safe or legal. They’re passing out flyers in their part of the neighborhood to encourage people to take advantage of services at the two organizations.

“We are reaching out and trying to get more people to connect with us in terms of services,” Lisa Aquino, executive director of Catholic Social Services, said. “Connect with us, stay with us. If you can’t stay inside if you choose not to stay inside, try to find other kinds of safe locations that you can.”

One area suggested as a legal and safe option to camp on the flyer is Centennial Campground.

Minnie, who says she used to find temporary shelter with the help of community services, said she comes back to the neighborhood to remind others to seek help and resources from Bean’s Cafe and Brother Francis Shelter. She says while Centennial Campground is a safe and legal option for people who can’t or choose to not stay inside, it’s not an easy option.

“How are they going to travel back and forth?” Minnie said. “It’s too far to come down and eat, to change clothes, come to the soup kitchen.”

Aquino says people may get kicked out of the shelter if they break the rules. But, there is an appeal process.

“You can always still use our other services,” she said. “Connect with a case manager. Have a conversation. We just have to have some basic rules about violence, about fighting. You can’t bring drugs or alcohol in.”

Lisa Sauder, executive director of Bean’s Cafe says, “it’s never the end of it.”

“Our policy is that we always want to provide services,” she said.

But, for people who want to stay outside, by their own choice, Bean’s Cafe and Brother Francis Shelter will keep reminding them to follow city policy and stay safe.

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