ST. LOUIS–(KMOX)–The city’s plan to evict the homeless from the St. Louis riverfront is taking shape.
Director of Human Services Bill Siedoff says his goal is to evacuate all squatter’s camps from the riverfront by August. Siedoff estimates there are 75 people living in Hopeville alone.
Hopeville was the scene of a fatal stabbing Monday night, following an argument between two homeless men over a can of beer. Robert Boettcher, 50, is charged with 1st degree murder, and armed criminal acton in the death of 36-year old Adrian Henderson.
“There are actually three encampments there — Sparta, Dignity Harbor and Hopeville,” Siedoff said, “This applies to all encampments there. The idea is we can’t be selective.”
“Until the city comes down here or some official comes down here and tells us we have to move,” said Bonnie Harrington, “I’m staying right there in my little house.”
Another woman living on the riverfront, Sierra Adiasor, says she’s been on the street since she was fourteen. “If the city is going to make everybody move, then they need to at least provide adequate housing for everybody,” Adiasor said, “not just a 30 day stay at the shelter.”
Siedoff says he hopes to provide “permanent supportive housing” for those displaced. The city is expected to have 300 housing units available for the homeless through a taxpayer-funded HUD grant by August.
“What we want to provide is a place for people to have their own place,” Siedoff said, “So, they can store their things and not just be on the streets.”
And what will become of Hopeville and the other settlements?
“It would be necessary that we remove whatever is there, and then monitor the situation to make sure that people don’t move back in,” Siedoff said.