St. Louis Sheriff halts evictions for the holidays

Missouri

ST. LOUIS – Homeowners in danger of being evicted are getting a reprieve. St. Louis Sheriff Vernon Betts said his department is temporarily halting evictions ahead of the holidays.

In August, the Supreme Court ended the eviction moratorium, meaning thousands of families across the country could be evicted from their homes.

“With people not being able to work, not having jobs, nor having money, it’s been pretty tough on a lot of the citizens of St. Louis and across the country,” Betts said.

The sheriff opted to take a different approach for the holidays and decided to freeze evictions, bringing some relief to renters struggling to catch up.

“During the holiday season, we just think it’s the right thing to do – not to do evictions. We will start back up the week after Thanksgiving,” Betts said. “We will do about two weeks and the week of Christmas and rest of the year, we will cease doing evictions. We just don’t think the St. Louis Sheriff’s Department doing evictions brings a lot of Christmas cheer when you put people out of their house.”

The St Louis Public School District also decided to get involved with the federal eviction moratorium ended.

“One of the things we know is when children are unhoused or going from pillar to post, it’s impossible from them to focus on education and learning,” said Deidra Thomas Murray, an administrator with SLPS’s Homeless and Foster Care Services. “I started thinking about leveraging resources for children and proving families information, letting them know that even though you may be unsheltered, let’s try to keep them safe, keep them warm.”

Working with the sheriff’s office and the Equal Housing and Opportunity Council, handing out flyers with valuable information to families in the district in danger of evictions.

“We are glad the moratorium is over, but at the same time we have not seen the on flux of evictions because with the job situation being like it is, jobs are available,” Betts said. “I think people are going back to work and paying their rent.”

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