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New Bozeman ordinance has urban campers concerned as winter weather sets in

Posted at 4:51 PM, Oct 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-26 17:07:09-04

BOZEMAN — The Bozeman City Commission gave final approval Tuesday night to an ordinance that requires urban campers to move every thirty days. As winter weather sets in, some campers say they're uncertain and scared for the future.

Tina Dunkel has been in Montana for 30 years and has been urban camping in Bozeman for the last six months.

She says, "I just got wind of all the laws and new ordinances that are passing and it’s just going to make things so much harder for so many people."

"It’s not fun, it’s just survival. You have to do what you can. You usually have to rely on your neighbors. There’s quite a few camper neighborhoods and everyone just tries to work together," adds Dunkel.

WATCH: Full, uncut interview with Bozeman urban camper Tina Dunkel

FULL INTERVIEW: Bozeman camper talks about impact of new ordinance

Local businesses and residents have expressed concern about the people and issues that urban camping has brought to the community.

"A lot of these people on the streets camping and stuff, they’re the ones out in the work force busting their butt to survive," Dunkel says.

The cost of living in Bozeman has driven many people to urban camping, and even out of the state completely.

"With the way rent and stuff is in the valley, I’ve been here at least thirty years, and I’m leaving Montana," says Dunkel. "It’s sad. I just wish people would learn to have a little compassion and humanity and look out for each other and take care of each other".

The new ordinance will go into effect in 30 days.