ST. LOUIS – Bulldozers and crews from the City of St. Louis began removing what was left of a tent Friday afternoon.

Individuals sleeping in tents along the riverfront were given a 10-day notice to vacate. They were also offered housing. According to a spokesperson for the city, 19 individuals accepted that offer.

Nearly a year ago, FOX 2 reported on concerns from business operators in the area.

On Friday, Gretchen Minges watched as crews were clearing the area. She’s the owner of Advantes Group, a developer heavily invested in Laclede’s Landing.

“We really hope that the city continues to do their part of giving the resources to the individuals who need it,” Minges said.

She and other business operators in the area pointed to the encampment as a source of crime.

“My staff and my tenants are feeling like we’re not being held hostage anymore,” Minges said. “It’s nice to be able to walk around the neighborhood and not have to fear.”

Advocates for the unhoused say resources are lacking when it comes to helping those without a home.

“This is being done a time when there are not enough shelter beds,” said Rev. Ray Redlich, New Life Evangelistic Center. “For those who choose not to go to shelters, there are really no safe alternatives for people to go to.”

Earlier in the week, a city spokesperson said in a statement:

“The city has invested more than $7 million American Rescue Plan Act funds to support our unhoused neighbors, including mandating that all city-funded emergency shelters operate 24/7 and provide connection to wraparound services through the end of winter operations on March 31.”