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Lafayette grappling with issue of homelessness downtown

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — Lafayette's imposing federal courthouse looms over the sparsely trafficked Parc Putnam, where a handful of people each day and night make beds out of benches.

A few blocks away at Parc Sans Souci, where weekenders sip mimosas outside a popular brunch spot, vagrants crawl from sleeping bags on the same public stage that hosted a Downtown Alive! act the night before. Lafayette's homeless have become as much a fixture downtown as business professionals, bohemians, late-night barhoppers and inmate workers. But as the number of people sleeping in the streets has grown in recent months, city officials are actively discussing how to deal with them.

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