City to Evict Homeless Camps along Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers

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DES MOINES, Iowa - Homeless camps along the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers received eviction notices from the city late last week and early this week, as officials seek to address an influx of complaints from the community.

Camps located on both banks of the Des Moines River near Euclid Avenue, near the Des Moines River Trail by Southeast 14th Street, and near a storm sewer by the Raccoon River have received numerous complaints from the public, officials say, and eviction letters asking campers to clear the premises within 10 days have been posted. Workers from Primary Health Care, a non-profit partnered with the city to help connect homeless citizens with human services programs and other resources, say 10 days is a short window of time to help relocate these campers. They argue last year's 21-day time window to clear the encampments offered by the city worked better.

City officials cite safety and health concerns for the quick eviction notices; the camp areas are littered with personal items, trash, used needles, and glass and plastic bottles.

9 comments

  • brent favre

    FTA Workers from Primary Health Care, a non-profit partnered with the city to help connect homeless citizens with human services programs and other resources, say 10 days is a short window of time to help relocate these campers. They argue last year’s 21-day time window to clear the encampments offered by the city worked better.

    Apparently it didn’t “work better” as they are back

  • ervserver

    “……….. health concerns for the quick eviction notices; the camp areas are littered with personal items, trash, used needles, and glass and plastic bottles.”
    there are plenty of dumpy neighborhoods in Des Moines that would meet this criteria.

  • Joannie

    To those complaining. Yes it is a eye sore and yes some people are probably fearful but where do you want the homeless to go? Seriously. Not all homeless people are doing this by choice. I have seen them and dealt with them and some have health issues some were down on there luck and couldn’t dig themselves back out and some are elderly. We have have had homeless on the river for years and years especially on the SE side of town. Whats next……..are we going to have complaining about all the people that fish down on the bridges etc also? Now that the city has put all the bike trails through and East Village we have people coming down on the trails from the West side and they are probably the complainers. Have we heard of anyone being raped or beaten or robbed on the trails where they are all at? And by moving them where do you want them to go? You will see them sleeping in parking garages and park benches and bus stops! There needs to be a solution to fix the problem. And I cannot believe its a easy life. I never want to live in a tent and wonder where my next shower or meal is coming from or be in the elements through bad rain storms or snow storms or freezing temperatures. And always having to walk for miles to get somewhere. This life cannot be easy. Be a part of the solution instead of bringing them down any further.

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