Homeless veteran’s East St. Louis campsite slated to be bulldozed

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UPDATE: After this story aired Friday evening, an anonymous donor came forward to provide housing for the people living at the homeless camp.

EAST ST. LOUIS, IL (KTVI) – A homeless camp near the East St. Louis Riverfront could soon be forced to move.

Homeless Iraq War veteran Ron Johnson says he was told Friday the camp would be bulldozed on Saturday. Johnson says the news came from the Terminal Railroad Association. His camp is set up on their property.

“They said I had today to get out or they’re going to bulldoze my stuff,” Johnson said.

He says he’s lived in the camp with his wife for three months. There are about a dozen people living in tents in an area under the Dr. Martin Luther King Bridge.

Kim Brunnworth, the co-founder and director of The Red, White, and Blue Tour for Homeless Veterans, visits the camp on a regular basis and planned on going to the site Friday evening to try and keep the camp from being destroyed.

“We need 30 days to try and put these guys somewhere and house them and get them off the street,” said Brunnworth. “They’re talking about bulldozing what little they have.”

There was no comment from the Terminal Railroad Association Friday, but we’re told safety of workers and the community is a priority when it comes to these decisions.

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