ST. LOUIS – A homeless encampment is growing on the lawn of St. Louis City Hall, and it’s getting the attention of multiple city officials.
We’re told the camp is visible from Mayor Tishaura Jones’ window at City Hall. The growth of the camp illustrates the struggle and challenge that the city faces in dealing with homelessness. The tents are on the City Hall lawn, right by Market Street.
FOX 2’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch partners reported that late last week there were 14 tents in the encampment. We counted at least 30 tents Friday morning.
The encampment can be an eyesore, as trash litters the ground, there are areas that smell of urine, and the reports of some drug use. Just Thursday, it’s understood that paramedics were called to help a man who had slid off a step and was unresponsive.
Nick Dunne, a spokesperson for Mayor Jones, told FOX 2 Friday morning that at this point the city has no immediate plans to remove anyone from the camp. Dunne also revealed that workers from the Department of Human Services come to the camp multiple times a week to offer people housing and resources.
Dunne added that available shelters are at 82% capacity, so there is space for people. He explained that the key is for the homeless to accept the offers that are made to them by city workers. Meanwhile, Board of Alderman President Megan Green and other board members are pushing for an unhoused bill of rights.
We’re told the bill would mandate places where the homeless could camp without the threat of being removed. The city would also provide showers, toilets, access to services, and 24-hour security.
Green’s spokesperson says the plan is to officially introduce the unhoused bill of rights legislation next week.