Pushback as St. Louis City tries to clear homeless camp outside City Hall
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - St. Louis City officials began decommissioning the homeless encampment in front of St. Louis City Hall Monday night.
Initially, the mayor’s office said they would clear out the encampment starting at 10 p.m. Monday. Officers were met with pushback from residents and community advocates. The encampment was still on the lawn of City Hall Tuesday.
According to the Mayor’s Office, the decision was not easy for them to make.
The office listed the following reasons why the camp must be moved off of City Hall property:
- About 50 police calls for service between 8/14 to 9/28
- 33 ambulance calls for service: overdoses, seizures, and other medical emergencies
- Fighting among the tenants and others who approach the encampment
- Increasing calls from City employees who report being accosted while at work
- Drug paraphernalia found on-site
According to the office, the Department of Human Services has done outreach at the site 35 times in the past two months to try to connect those living there with permanent housing and support services.
Lifeline Aid Group, a nonprofit that focuses on feeding and housing the unhoused, sent First Alert 4 a flyer given out to people living in the encampment dated Sept. 29, informing people that City Hall grounds would be closed at 10 p.m. Monday and that people and their belonging couldn’t stay overnight. A spokesperson for the mayor’s office said there will be more outreach from the Department of Human Services on Tuesday.
Ward 14 Alderman Rasheen Aldridge said Monday night, “I negotiated with the Mayor’s office to stop the displacement of the encampment tonight and will work to move folks into housing tomorrow.”
This move comes as City leaders have proposed legislation that would protect people living in encampments through a “Unhoused Bill of Rights.”
Copyright 2023 KMOV. All rights reserved.