Fort Smith Farmer’s Market Upset Over Bench Removal Downtown Due To Homeless People Sleeping On Them

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- The Fort Smith Farmer's Market is encouraging residents to contact city leaders to bring back park benches that were removed from Garrison Avenue following a complaint of homeless people sleeping on them and leaving trash behind.

In September, benches were removed from downtown after a business owner complained to city leaders.

The Fort Smith Farmer's Market owners say the benches were used by many of their customers, especially those with disabilities or children. They told 5NEWS the farmers market is now losing revenue because of the decision.

"My thought was that removing the benches won't help solve the problem of homelessness. It needs to be approached from another direction. You can take away the benches, but it won't take away the problem of the homeless," Joe Carr, a Fort Smith Farmer's Market vendor, told 5NEWS.

5NEWS spoke with Hope Campus Shelter Coordinator Greg Pair who said, "This makes Fort Smith look so unfriendly. They want people to come downtown and shop, but you have no place to sit down."

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