Residents given more time to leave homeless encampment

Workers blocked off the encampment by the river and hauled away portable toilets, but residents will be given more time to move.

On September 29, 5pm came and went and yet there were still people living at the Ampersee encampment on Kalamazoo’s east side.

That was the deadline, announced two weeks ago, for residents of the encampment to clear out. But roughly half the 150 people who had called the camp home were still there.

A spokesperson for the city told MLive that they would not enforce trespassing restrictions against those left behind. But many of the amenities they’d come to expect over the past several months are gone. That includes waste service and portable toilets provided by the city.

Officials haven’t said how long the city will tolerate the remaining residents. Officials have cited reports of crime and complaints by neighbors for their decision to shut down the homeless encampment.

Yet those still living at the site say they don’t have anywhere to go. The Ampersee encampment grew quickly after the city shut down another encampment earlier this year.

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A woman names Melinda told MLive she has no options.

“They say we’ve got all these resources, but where are they? What are they? I’m lost,” she said.

[MLive, WWMT]

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