ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis officials say three encampments of homeless people along the Mississippi River will be shut down in stages starting May 4.

City officials said Friday that about 30 people live in the encampments in the area near the Gateway Arch. The city says staff from the Department of Human Services and partnering private agencies will work with encampment residents to help them find housing.

St. Louis Human Services director Bill Siedhoff says the encampments are not safe. City officials say several residents living along the river have been victims of violent crimes, including stabbings. One occupant was killed.

Fires have destroyed some tents and city officials say rat infestation is also a problem.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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