JOPLIN, Mo. — Dozens of people meet at the Joplin Library to talk to state representatives about the impact homelessness is having on downtown.

Lane Roberts said, fair or not, there’s a perception that a homeless population can make an area, like downtown, unsafe. He added while that may not be true, it has an impact on businesses, shoppers, and even the local homeless population.

He said there’s no easy solution to homelessness but that it will take a collaborative approach.

“It’s not up to the state to dictate to the community, but certainly we can facilitate for the community, and I think we heard today that the city is open to a collaborative effort with a lot of the organizations who want to deal with homelessness to create some long-term solutions,” said State Rep. Lane Roberts, (R)-Joplin.

Roberts said he and State Representative Ben Baker, who represents the southern part of the city of Joplin, will likely meet to see if there’s something they can do legislatively in next year’s session.