Homeless Camp Appeals City’s Eviction

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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.


  • The Phantom

    David Costello Is coming from a good place but he knows as much as the rest that most of the people in the camp want to be there not that they are being forced to be homeless. There was a time that I assisted law enforcement downtown and know that in most cases these people have resources and family that could take them from their situations but prefer to live their life of the grid except for government checks from everything from disability and Soc Ser. to VA retierment checks. Disband the camps and make them make the hard choice move or seek help.

  • William Denison

    Why do people even care what these people do with their own lives? We are all here for just a blink of a eye. I’m not spending my time attacking someone with less money and cognitive ability then myself. Phantom live your life the way you find best for you and let others do the same. You need to reread your Bible or whatever book your cult uses and rethink your own life and actions. You never know you may find yourself living in a van down by the river someday.

    • The Phantom

      The issue here is not the lifestyle of the people. It is a safty and legal issue as they are on public land. Their camp is dangerous to the inhabitants and the landowners living in the area. there are consistant police calls and fire calls to the camps. Heavy drinking and drug use is a daily occurance in the camps. You can be rightous from your home on the other side of the city or in your little town out of the metro. If you are such the humanitarian open your back yard or home to the campers. Do not judge me Willie as I have read your posts in the past and for you to try to take the high road is a laugh. I have been in rough spots in my live but have pulled through with the help of family and friends. Look in the mirror before you post. Yes, I took this one serious as it it way to close to home.

      • William Denison

        “dangerous to the inhabitants and the landowners living in the area. there are consistant police calls and fire calls to the camps. Heavy drinking and drug use is a daily occurrence”?That is life everywhere in every city, town and farm.If the homeless were the only ones drinking and using drugs why does every store in every city and town sell booze and have some kind of police force and fire department? You are just a simple minded monkey. You know nothing of me. I help all the homeless including the abandoned pets from soulless people like you. Sorry John….just sayin

      • The Phantom

        So willie now I do not take care of my animals? If you knew my race you would never call me a Monkey to my face. I dare you topcome down from the old farm house and spend a weekend at the camps. Go ahead send me a report after the first night.

      • William Denison

        Just to hot and buggy to be doing any camping this week but I’ll keep ya posted. Don’t be so sure I would not say what’s on my mind about anything to your face. It’s pretty much how I roll :)

  • Sue

    Lets face it folks. These people are what we used to call “bums” before the politically correct term “homeless.” Many have mental illness and are alcoholics. They do not want our “help.” They need to live their lives as they want, and where they want, as long as they are not under our bridges/trails, etc.

    • William Denison

      .” They need to live their lives as they want, and where they want, as long as they are not under our bridges/trails, etc”..
      “OUR” bridges/trails.? What these folks don’t count as people in our community now? Wow, your a real winner Sue.

  • PKD

    Not all of the people who are homeless choose to be homeless! Due to circumstances and society things happen but just like cancer mental illness and alcoholism are diseases and without the resources to treat them the homeless are left out on the street to fend for themselves. Yes some people choose to be homeless but not all and most do not have family that is willing to take them in and help them get whatever assistance they need. Instead of bashing them because they live under a bridge or in a homeless campground why don’t we try working together to try and find solutions to these issues. It doesn’t help that the mental institutes have had major budget cuts in the past few years so funding to help them is mostly dried up. In this country no one should go hungry or be homeless.

  • Trevor

    If the city wants the homeless out. Then they need to set them up with a roof over their head and 3 square meals a day. Have them clean ditches and city parks for the services. Then the ones that don’t want help or are on drugs. Kick them out on their behinds.

    • William Denison

      Isn’t forcing someone to do something they don’t want to do kinda like slavery? What’s your take on this post Phantom?

      • The Anti-William Denison

        I don’t want to pay taxes or work either willy. it’s what you do to be part of a civilized society that provides you things like roads, homeless shelters, city workers to take care of the park you are living in, etc.

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