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Residents packing up belongings at downtown homeless camp set to be cleared Thursday | News


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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — As the city of Louisville plans to clear another downtown homeless camp, those living there are working to get their belongings moved.

A site off Ninth and Market streets is set to be cleared Thursday, Nov. 4, at 8 a.m.

City leaders posted the notice to vacate on Monday, citing health and safety concerns for both people in the camp and the surrounding community.

Wednesday afternoon, less than 24 hours until the clearing, an outreach worker was at the site helping those in the camp to gather their belongings. 

Notice posted at homeless encampment in downtown Louisville. (WDRB photo)

“I’m here to help folks get relocated to a spot of their own choosing and just help ease the stresses of the move because it is a very overwhelming ordeal,” said Jeff Gill, founder of Hip Hop Cares. 

Gill said Hip Hop Cares is all about meeting people where they are through street outreach and providing basic necessities, as well as a bridge to stable housing. For a link to learn more about the organization, click here.

Gill said those living at this camp downtown were not interested in going to a shelter and instead, would be moving to other outdoor homeless camps.

“I’ve heard a lot of different reasons why people don’t want to go into shelters,” said Gill. “I can’t speak for anybody specifically, but the things I’ve heard why folks won’t go into shelters are things like security, they don’t want to lose their stuff, they can’t leave their spouse or their partner outside, or they have pets, or they struggle with things like mental health or addiction.”

City plans to clear homeless encampment in downtown Louisville on Nov. 4

A homeless camp off 9th and Market streets in downtown Louisville set to be cleared on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021. (WDRB photo)

Nina Moseley, chief operating officer of Wayside Christian Mission, said after several other camps were recently cleared downtown, 18 people came to the shelter. She said beds are still available, including in the low barrier shelter.

“We always hope that people will come into shelter rather than staying outdoors,” she said. “Some folks will not come inside for any reason. Some folks want to be independent, they don’t care for rules in the shelter.”

As an alternative to sidewalks or shelters, the city has been working to create an area known as a Safe Outdoor Space off East College Street. It would provide space for up to 50 people and their pets. Couples will be allowed, but no children.

“I think its a creative solution and we need to be creative and try to make something that will work for everyone,” said Moseley. 

The idea of creating the space was first announced over the summer. In August, the city announced plans to purchase the property.

Wednesday, the Office of Resilience and Community Services said a decision is still being made on the operator of the space and the goal is have the space open in mid-December. 

“I think if executed properly, it would be a great addition to our city because I have seen it work very well in other places,” said Gill. “Conversely, if it’s not taken on by proper leadership, it won’t do much good to change what we’ve got going on and we’ll just kind of keep continuing in the cycle. But I’m holding out hope.”

The Office of Resilience and Community Services said an update on the space could come as soon as this week. 

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