ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The sidewalks at Locust and 14th Streets downtown are still closed, after a clear-out of homeless campers there last week.
The barricades are still up, with signs that say “Sidewalk Closed for Health and Safety Reasons.”
City Human Services Director Bill Siedhoff says there were forty or so people who were consistently sleeping there.
“Their preference was to stay on the sidewalk as opposed to going into the New Life Evangelistic Center because of the conditions there which they found unsafe, they found it lacking a certain cleanliness,” Siedhoff said.
Among the homeless who were living on the sidewalk outside the shelter were two two-year-old boys who were placed with the St. Louis Crisis Nursery.
“I understand from one of the parents, anyway, that they were very very happy to be there and they barely noticed when the parent left because they were having so much fun,” Siedhoff said.
But he says outside, there were problems with drugs, alcohol and violence.
Siedhoff says the sidewalk will not be reopened until he’s confident the people removed have been placed in better situations.
On a positive note, he says the New Life Evangelistic Center is now allowing the State Department of Health and the St. Louis Crisis Nursery in to check on children and bring diapers.