ST. LOUIS – The homeless encampment on the St. Louis City Hall lawn that was growing is now gone Wednesday morning. Meanwhile, a major homeless advocate is set to speak out later.
Fencing is now up around the area where the homeless camp used to be. Officials with Mayor Tishaura Jones’ office told Fox 2 that the last people who were staying in tents were moved to transitional housing around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Authorities also shared that they are enforcing the overnight park curfew here since City Hall sits on park ground. The mayor’s office says that the American Rescue Plan Act or ‘ARPA’ funds are being used to make sure enough shelter was available for the people who had been living in tents for some time.
The city shut down the homeless encampment and put up fencing after the mayor’s administration cited fights, reports of city hall workers being accosted, and repeated police calls and medical emergencies as reasons for putting an end to the situation.
FOX 2 spoke with city officials and people who were living there, including one man who was emotional about what happened. His wife is pregnant and they have two dogs.
“Have some compassion treat us like you would treat your family members, we’re still human, we’re not animals, what they did last night was a disgrace to the leaders of the city,” unhoused local Tino McCoy expressed.
“We have encouraged individuals for the last two months at the City Hall site to find shelter, St. Louis Dept. of Human Services’ Adam Pearson explained. “Our outreach teams have been able to go out and place some people in shelter, but some people in transitional housing if they choose not to go that his up to them, but we invite them to use some of the beds that we have available.”
Larry Rice, a longtime homeless advocate who helped the people in the encampment, is set to hold a news conference at this location later Wednesday. We’re told he will address what he calls, “the suffering inflicted upon the homeless by the current policies of the Jones administration.”