KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Several dozen homeless people have had to relocate after their camps in Kansas City’s Kessler Park have come down.
On Friday, the city ordered about 40 homeless campers to vacate the grounds near St. John Avenue and The Paseo after some neighbors complained of increasing problems.
“We had some campers that were in this areas that were very peaceful, “says Desiree Monize, the Executive Director with Hopefaith Ministries, an outreach center for the homeless.
Monize and city officials say for months some neighbors complained of serious crimes happening at the homeless camps.
“The complaints that I’m aware of were public intoxication, drugs, criminal behavior. It’s usually a small percentage of the group,” says Monize.
FOX 4 was told city crews bulldozed 15 homeless camps in six different areas that span over a quarter of a mile at the site.
City officials say when the camps cleared cops found evidence of mobile meth labs, as well as items that indicate some of the homeless people were involved in thefts of scrap metals and catalytic converters. Officials also report the trash was extensive.
“We have a crisis in our city and we do not have adequate housing and we do not have adequate, affordable housing for those who are homeless, ” Desiree Monize told Fox 4’s Robert Townsend during an interview Tuesday.
Neighbor Sally Vivian says she never had a problem out of the homeless campers.
“I’ think it’s awful because those people didn’t bother anybody. They needed a place to live,” says Vivian.
The city gave the homeless campers 48 hours to vacate. Officials also provided the group with alternative shelter options, personal care items and job training resources.