ST. LOUIS – St. Louis leaders ordered the removal of a homeless encampment along the riverfront near Laclede’s Landing. The eviction process happened Friday.

Michael Jones said he has been living at the camp for months.

“It’s sad, and it’s hard to watch this. A lot of people are hurting, and now they have nowhere to go,” Jones said.

Many homeless people lived in tents under the pavilion where the President Casino inside the Admiral Riverboat used to be years ago.

A lady who goes by Mommy D said she is being forced to leave a place she calls home.

“It’s so sad. I love these people. I wish I could just grab them all up in my arms and take them with me,” she said.

Groups advocating for the homeless are also upset that the city is closing the camp and question whether the offers from the city will help fix the problem.

“They are not getting resources. A lot of those resources don’t exist in St. Louis, and it’s hard to access,” said Audra Youmans. “We are here to say this is not right, and this is not how you help people get into housing.”

Last week, the city posted notices saying that the camp would be disbanded on Friday.

A spokesperson for the St. Louis Mayor’s Office said 20 to 25 people were sleeping at the camp every night. Those who accepted offers for housing had their items moved to storage when they transitioned into housing. So far, 19 residents have accepted the offer.

According to city officials, $7 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds went towards helping the unhoused.