Another homeless camp cleaned up in Louisville
Outreach workers at Thursday’s compensation camp at 9th and Market Streets said many residents would go to other camps, instead of shelters.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – On Thursday, the city cleaned up another homeless camp in the downtown core, as the Metro Council budget committee considered approval of Mayor Greg Fischer’s plan for the next ARP funding round from the city.
The plan includes millions for housing efforts, particularly $ 1.5 million to outfit the planned safe outdoor space.
The Safe Outdoor Space, announced this summer, is still without a director. Office of Resilience and Community Service director Tameka Laird said a decision was coming soon.
In an email, officials from the office said a director could be chosen as early as the end of this week.
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Once selected, Laird said that person would play a role in determining the rules of the space, especially when it comes to substance use.
âWe’re still building this model,â Laird said. “We will work with whoever we identify as the operator to work with them to create this policy and this producer and the overall operation plan.”
âIt’s considered a low barrier option and we’re looking to make sure we can serve everyone at this site and this place,â she said of the outdoor space.
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During Thursday’s clearance, residents of the camp near I-64, Ninth Street and Market Street took their belongings, after being given 72 hours to leave.
“You think it would be easier for them to give us time to get our things out the way we want instead of coming here and turning the earth over and burying it, because we’re just going to come and dig it up later, said a local named Ray.
Laird said the tight schedule was due to health and safety concerns at the camp, determined by a risk assessment. She said the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet was also barred from conducting an inspection on their property.
The city estimated that there were eight people living in the camp before the cleanup.
Outreach workers like Mary Hampton of The Healing Place have helped some people move into shelters. Hampton said others would move to new locations instead.
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âAnytime we have the opportunity to take someone off the streets and improve their life, it’s a miracle in itself,â she said.
Advocates have said substance use is one of the biggest barriers to helping people. The desire to have animals can be too.
Hampton is hoping the Safe Outdoor Space will be another option and solution.
âThey don’t really want to follow certain rules and guidelines and there they’ll be more open to do things the way they want to do them,â she said. “The sad thing is that a lot of them are comfortable here.”
The Metro Council’s budget committee on Thursday considered pouring millions into space and other efforts. Laird said the best way to end homelessness is to fund resources and support more awareness efforts.
“It’s just a pot of money for a period of time. These services have to continue,” she said of ARP funding. “We know we have a lot of services in our community, but having enough is the key.”
The Safe Outdoor Space is scheduled to open in mid-December. Laird plans to select a director for the space soon.
Any financing plan adopted by the council budget committee must still be approved by the entire metropolitan council.