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.