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Homeless Say City Officials Are Keeping Them Out of Lucas Park

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Work to transform Lucas Park located just north of the Central Library downtown continues. It will take another year at least to complete all of the improvements, which include a playground, exercise equipment, and flower planting. Local fundraisers continue to help the project along and an online contest is underway that could result in the park receiving another $20,000. (KMOX/Brett Blume)

Work to transform Lucas Park located just north of the Central Library downtown continues. It will take another year at least to complete all of the improvements, which include a playground, exercise equipment, and flower planting. Local fundraisers continue to help the project along and an online contest is underway that could result in the park receiving another $20,000. (KMOX/Brett Blume)

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – A downtown St. Louis park that used to be a hangout for the homeless is the target of a protest.

Wednesday several dozen homeless marched through a gap in the fence into Lucas Park a block behind the Washington Park loft district, and a block away from the New Life Evangelistic Center.

Reverend Larry Rice says the construction fence has been up for months but, “when you come by at night you will see folks of means out in the park playing with their children.”

Residents in the past complained of drug needles, public urination and homeless sitting under shade trees.

Mayor Francis Slay’s office said the Lucas Park renovation is taking longer because it’s funded by neighborhood donations. When work is complete in mid-November, it will be open to one and all.

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