Graham makes it illegal to sleep in cars on city property overnight

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GRAHAM, N.C. — The city of Graham is trying to crack down on a problem it's been having in parking lots for the past year — loitering and people sleeping in cars.

"It was rumored someone was out barbequing in the parking lot," said Graham Police Chief Jeff Prichard.

Along with sleeping and barbequing, officials say some even used parking lots to hang their laundry.

"It's not a campground," said Mayor Jerry Peterman. "It's a place for you to park."

The city wants to make that message clear.

They just passed an ordinance, making it illegal to sleep in a car on city property overnight.

Violators will have to pay a $10 fine.

But along with those tougher rules, some like Graham Police Chief Jeff Prichard are also lending a hand.

"We're all human beings," Prichard said. "The suffering of anybody affects us all."

He's been trying to find jobs and shelter for those he finds in parking lots. Many whom he says lost their homes and have no place else to go.

"Everybody's struggling these days and has different things they're dealing with," he said. "We're just trying to help out."