City of Des Moines Asking Homeless To Pack Up And Leave

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DES MOINES, Iowa – City leaders in Des Moines recently posted flyers around the trail system near Euclid Ave. and the Des Moines River asking the homeless living around the area to leave.

The flyer said if you have property located within the area of Euclid Ave. Bridge, south on either side of the Des Moines River to Prospect Park, you must remove it before June 27th or it will be removed and disposed of by the City of Des Moines.

Those living in the camps said they have no where else to go.

Frederick Harris has been taking up camp near the trail system near Euclid Ave. and the Des Moines River. He’s applied for housing at the YMCA but until that comes through he’s forced to stay where he is.

“You think someone chooses to be here, you think someone wants to sleep in the woods in the thunderstorms and all that, no.  You don`t have a choice so you have to make do with what you’ve got.,” says Harris.

Harris just found out like many others that he will be asked to leave at the end of the month.

“It`s just a bad situation, I`m sitting here today thinking where am I going on the 27th,” says Harris.

Harris isn’t alone, other makeshift homeless camps across the city also had notices posted.

City officials say when they receive enough complaints about an area they have to take action.

The city says it is working with outreach services to help relocate everyone before they come in and clean up the area, Harris is just hoping that’s the truth.

“I`m just doing the best I can for what I have,” says Harris.

Those living in the camps have until June 16th to appeal.

This isn’t the first time the city has posted notices asking people to leave.

In January of last year officials asked those living under the MLK Bridge to pack their belongings.

However, everyone who appealed the ruling was allowed to stay.

An administrative hearing officer ruled the homeless are allowed on city land because there were not any other options available.



  • Kath

    There has to be a community/religious organization to place these people. It’s scarey when they set up camp near your home too. Mental illness, drug abuse, & unsanitary conditions, oh my!

    • Kamandak

      There certainly are shelters and other community outreach programs in Des Moines. However, the reality is there is a far greater need for these services in Des Moines than what the charitable community can provide.

    • Felicia Crabb (@bitchydabitch)

      The BTK killer was a “normal church going guy” who was many people’s neighbor. People aren’t scary based on their living situations… take you, I wouldn’t want to live next to you based on your words not based on your home.
      I know people who live in nice houses and you go inside and are overwhelmed with the smell of filth. I have seen drug use in all kinds/class of people.
      The craziest people I’ve had to deal with are mid to late 20 something middle class white chicks who have chosen to go off their meds so they can have more babies.

  • Lisa

    This guy is horrible, I am aware of the way the areas look that the homeless live in, but many of them cannot survive like so many others in society. Yes many of these people have mental issues and there are those who abuse drugs and alcohol. But they are never the less human beings, filthy, dirty, foul … yes and they all are children of God. Many have families that worry about them but have no way to reach them. I know I have a son that I would give anything to have him be “normal” These people need a place to stay a safe place from the public, because it is the public that hurts them.

  • Suzy B

    As long as the tent area is kept clean & sanitary, what does it really hurt?They need to live somewhere. Would you want to sleep in the rain, wind & cold? Yes it would be wonderful if they could stay somewhere indoors but away from the public? They are part of the public! Stop judging & help them, most just need help to get back on their feet, consider that!! Go to a council meeting & request help for them rather than judging & asking them to be forced out of where they call home!!

  • MuffinMan

    Lisa & Suzy, these people need a new place to stay so you two should let them live in your backyard. Don’t just talk the talk, walk the walk as well.

  • Dustin

    i personally i have 18 tents behind my house,they eat deer and rabbit’s, to me as a hunter knowing that is out of season if it was me the dnr would hammer down on me and id be fined for many reason’s but cause there is no money in these ppl so meh oh well is there attitude

  • Trevor

    This is wrong. Lets let illegal’s come to our country and hand them freebie’s. But Kick american’s out of their only place they can call home. What a messed up world we live in.

  • Mike

    First the City Council tries to ban people who fish off the bridges in Des Moines. Gees, give me a break. Now this? Des Moines has a nasty, elitist streak to it, that’s for sure.

  • Paul

    Welfare, housing, schooling, key to the city for illegal criminals and eviction notices for U.S. citizens living in squalor… your a class act Des Moines.

  • Wolvers Steve

    So happy to see the city of Des Moines and all its finest elite “PUBLIC SERVANTS” who can retire from their personal jobs at a young age 55 for many yet get another public government job and enjoy the golden medical insurance us tax payers must provide for their families have a christian heart for those who are hard times.

  • Bob

    Maybe they should tear up any documentation that they are citizens, and learn to speak Spanish, then speak only Spanish. The government would be then showering cash on them

  • zn0rseman

    Most of those that can’t find shelter elsewhere are due to bad drug and/or alcohol addictions. (Shelters generally don’t allow such things.) Those addicts are the ones who remain in these camps. Frankly, I wouldn’t want any of them living near my family.

    • HomelessOutreachVolunteer

      That’s not fully true. You are correct that shelters do not allow drugs and alcohol, but even some addicts will forego a night to have a shower and meal. People who are homeless can be perfectly normal people who got hit with a series of misfortunate events in their lives and found themselves with no home and no family nearby and due to over filled shelters they did not get in and could only turn to a homeless camp. Others have such debilitating mental illness that they cannot function at a shelter or near others, cannot work and have no way to pay rent. I have seen it and you sir should not talk about populations as a whole being one way or another that is called being prejudice. Not all are addicts or alcoholics or even mentally ill, some found themselves homeless due to life events while I’ve met others that choose to be homeless so they don’t have to pay rent and utilities, rather their paycheck is all theirs for what they want and they like the simplicity. Thou shall not judge

      • Sue

        There are also those who CHOOSE to live that way! Some don’t believe in the government, therefore, they refuse to pay taxes, etc. Not owning anything, not earning any money is a way to not pay the government. Yet, they are right there with to accept the hand outs.

        I truly feel for those who are in bad situations beyond their control. I do not feel for the ones who choose to be lazy and live off of others, it is no different than welfare cheats. I work downtown. My employer hires a security firm whose only duty is to walk those of us that are still at work after dark to our cars. Why? because there have been too many of us mugged by homeless people in the parking lot. I am very glad my employer is willing to do that. Of course, it is a huge expense to them every year. Just more money that someone who is too lazy to work is costing those of us that do work.

  • Txteacher

    Funny, how a liberal city like Des Moines, which finds it fashionable to embrace every lifestyle one can think of, doesn’t embrace this one. Oh, but it isn’t Christmas time when so many folks are feeling charitable in the chilly temps, and will load up vans of food to take care of the homeless-IF there is a local TV station there to cover it. Now, those same “generous” people want to ride their expensive bicycles up river trails and those aforementioned homeless folks, once taken care of, are, at the least a blight on the landscape or possibly even dangerous. Just let the seasons change and the cold winds blow. There won’t be any complaints because nobody cares enough to pay attention to the homeless when they are sipping wine in front of the fireplace. Hypocrites.

  • Lacey J Enos Ayala

    I am so fucking disgusted with the City of Des Moines! Even worse with the creeps who reported and complained about those living here. I bet none of those people would reach into their wallets to help provide a place for the homeless. Everyone should be ashamed of what they are doing to these people. There is plenty of land in Des Moines, they should be providing a space for them. What about all those empty buildings at Fort Des Moines. Stop treating them like they are something to dispose of and give them what is needed. Stop wasting money on garbage like that 30 million dollar joke of an art park downtown and use the money for what is really needed. I wish I was in a position of power to make things like this stop happening!

  • Lori Harvey

    Unless the city is going to help these people get into a shelter or offer them another alternative they should leave them alone.

    This depression we are in (yes its a depression not a recession) is only getting worse. Everything is going up except our wages. As foreclosures increase so will the amount of homelessness.

    There needs to be affordable housing but $500 per month for a dinky apartment isn’t affordable. The city needs to come up with REAL solutions not band aids.

    • frank brewer

      How about the federal government quit sending all these biliions of dollars overseas, for which we get nothing or very little in return, and take care of our own. Also when these American companies take their businesses overseas, charge a tariif that will make it extremely difficult for them to compete. That would help take care of the depression.

  • Robert N.

    Most of these people are scurvy, retarded, drunk idiots who don’t want to conform to society standards. Good riddance! The world would be a better place if all this trash just ceased to be.

    • frank brewer

      I thought god created all people equal, except for you. You seem to be better than everyone else, and your arrogance is sickening. The world would be a better place if trash like you ceased to exist. Your mother must be proud.

  • Deby Morgan

    Wow Robert, awful quick to judge aren’t you? You would be amazed at the number of people who are but one paycheck away from being homeless. If our government spent half the money on these people as it does on the illegals who pour in every day, this would be a non-issue! BTW, I’d love to know what great contributions you’ve made to society!

  • Katg

    Funny that people are saying these poor people should be allowed to squat on public/recreational ground-INSTEAD of, let’s get them help & better conditions! Maybe even air conditioning, showers, toilets, & some treatment if they need it. Also, the next time you’re camping, I’m sure you’ll be happy to have a homeless person tent next to you. You’d probably invite them over for a meal, because you’re such a wonderful Christian. Stop talking out of both sides:leave these poor people alone in their hot, dirty conditions.

  • Ronald

    I think that the democrats are just trying shore up their base for the mid term elections and clinton in 2016.

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