Kevin Killeen

ST. LOUIS–(KMOX)–The city is backing away from its August deadline to clear the riverfront of homeless squatters —  despite a murder there this spring over a $2 can of beer. 

 Lawyers advocating for the some 75 homeless who live along the river pressured the city to drop its timetable.  

“Our position is there should be no sweeps, no forced evictions until permanent, supportive housing plans are offered,” said John Amman with the St. Louis University Law school.   The legal clinics from St. Louis University,  Washington University and lawyers with Legal Services of Eastern Missouri met recently with city officials. 

The original goal to get the homeless tents off the riverfront by August was set by the city’s Director of Human Services, Bill Siedoff.   Siedoff spoke to KMOX just days after the May 2 stabbing death of 36-year old Adrian Henderson.   Another homeless man,  Robert Boettcher, 50, is charged with 1st degree murder, and armed criminal acton in the death.

Siedoff now says the August goal has been pushed back indefinitely,  while he searches for funding to provide housing for the riverfront dwellers.img 16061 Riverfront Homeless Get More Time to Move

At the time of the stabbing,  Siedoff said it was just the latest of dozens of emergency calls city police and paramedics have been forced to respond to for the homeless along the riverfront.

Amman says there aren’t enough beds in the local homeless system to absorb the residents of Hopeville,  Sparta and Dignity Harbor, if the three camps were shut down right away.  

“If you closed the camps tomorrow there would not be enough temporary housing to meet the needs of the residents without jumping ahead of everybody else on the waiting list,” Amman said.

Copyright KMOX. 


Comments (2)
  1. Ed Golterman says:

    Slay and Rainford should have ‘worked’ with Rice 6 years ago and adapted one of the City’s empty buildings downtown to accommodate the homeless. The Abrams block would have been ‘freed up’ to support Don Breckenridge’s opera house and Savvis/now Scottrade. We would have a real downtown. But the mayor’s people created adversarial role against Rice, and another opportunity was flushed down the toilet.l

  2. Teabarry says:

    Rice, unlike most homeless service providers in this town, has had an adversarial relationship with every mayor since, at least, the Schoemehl administration.
    I can’t tell what you mean re: “The Abrams block would have been ‘freed up’ to support Don Breckinridge’s opera house and Savvis/now Scottrade. We would have a real downtown.” I doubt Breckinridge or any other developer thought giving it to Rice was a good idea. And anyway, there are many homeless service providers with good track records and open books who have worked with the city for many years. Salvation Army and St Patrick’s come to mind. If the city starts giviing properties away, there are far more likely recipients.

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