ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The city of St. Louis is letting residents of a homeless encampment near the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge know they’ll have to pack up and move.
“It’s not a way to live,” says Eddie Roth, director of human services for the city. “There’s no future for people who live in tent encampments. There is a future for people who are connected with services and more stable housing.”
The people living at the western footprint of the Stan Span had some of those services available to them when KMOX News paid a visit in late December, including portable toilets and a large waste disposal bin, and residents seemed content to stay put.
Chad Bergman was among the first to establish the site and spoke about other reasons why the particular spot was ideal.
“It’s out of the way but it’s right where we can get to all the stuff that we need to access,” Bergman said. “Downtown is where you can go for showers and to get something to eat.”
But Roth says it comes down to a matter of public safety.
“The question of these encampments is that they are not safe and they’re unlawful,” he concludes.
There is no clear timetable for when the residents of the tent city will have to vacate the Stan Span site, but Roth pledges that the city would help them find new places to live.
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