DES MOINES, Iowa — An estimated 40 homeless people living along the Des Moines and Raccoon River could soon need to find a new place to set up camp. In May city officials posted eviction notices giving those people 30 days to move. According to the notice anything still there by June 20th would be considered abandoned.
Officials have not enforced that notice just yet. They say they are waiting to see how Monday morning’s appeals process goes. Twenty-five of the 40 people living along the river are appealing the city’s eviction.
City officials say they’ve received many complaints from the public and public safety officials. Some of the concerns include potential fire hazards, crime in the camps, and police struggling to get to the camps during a call.
Homeless advocate David Costello says the city is using one-size fits all approach for the homeless. “The homeless, every one of those people have a unique special circumstance, unique special story. It takes time and resources for them to build trust with someone to help them deal with that.”
Costello says no matter what happens Monday we are all losers because we have community members living along the Des Moines River.