ST. LOUIS – City leaders are moving forward today with a plan to clear a homeless encampment along the riverfront downtown very close to Laclede’s Landing. Dozens of homeless people have been living in tents under the pavilion where the President Casino inside the Admiral Riverboat was once located years ago.

Now city leaders say it’s time for the people and the tents to go.  The city posting notices last week that the camp would be disbanded today.

Several homeless people who were living at the camp told us today that they are sad about being forced to leave, and they are uncertain about what their future holds. Groups advocating for the homeless are also at the site today, protesting the closing of the camp.

City officials say they been meeting with people living in the encampment recently and have been able to offer them housing as well as other resources to help address their needs and put them on a path to permanent housing.

A spokesperson for St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones say 19 people at the camp have accepted housing offers so far and left the encampment.

City officials say $7 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds have been designated to support the unhoused. However, homeless advocates question whether the offers from the city will truly help fix the homeless problem.