Officials with the St. Louis Department of Human Services are relieved that Friday mornings evacuation of a homeless encampment in a crumbling railroad tunnel went smoothly.The city gave the 75 or so residents of the encampment, called “Hopeville,” until 8 a.m. to leave the tunnel, where work will begin soon on a $34 million project to fill in the crumbling structure and rebuild Tucker Blvd.Many of the 75 had moved into Hopeville since Easter, drawn there by the Rev. Larry Rice. Rice had demanded an acre of land for the displaced homeless, calling the response by the city and social service agencies inadequate. But earlier this week, he announced he would not put up a fight at the tunnel.
It seems I remember a story about the SCMPD clearing a tent city under the Truman Parkway at the beginning of 2009, but where did they go?
I remember the article or TV coverage talking about any advocacy for these homeless people. Here’s the sequence of events…
These are the articles about Savannah’s situation & are about a proposed 2009 sweep in Jan 2009:
So, you see advocacy works – but in this case the sweep was postponed – the answer should’ve been different, don ‘t you think?
As our logo on the blog says, “We CAN do better”! So let’s remember next time the police need to clear an encampment (for whatever reason) that they or someone looks for an advocate to assist them in finding a suitable place to put their tents next time.
If that’s not possible then someone may need to address any City Ordinances which prohibit such encampments – or better yet, let’s look at the Atlanta Outreach project as a model to go out to the true homeless & get them engaged in a solution to their homelessness.
If there are other programs or advocacy outreach that this blogger is unaware of in Savannah then please educate us & we’ll pass it on & support whoever it is that has that as a mission.
If you’re interested in the whole story in St Louis & how the story evolved as well as how it continues as a challenge to the agencies in the area check out the article linked to below as well as the related articles at the bottom of it for the previous stories & track the evolution of the solution.
There are other examples of outreach in Savannah referenced in the following news coverage (we aren’t just looking on WTOC but these happened to be what we were looking for, however, please feel free to share other relevant news stories of support & advocacy for the homeless in the comments or suggest we follow-up & write our own stories & posts using the Suggestion plugin on the right!):
Then there’s the attempt by locals to feel like they are homeless, experience it & do it for a night: