The City of St. Louis today announced the closing of a homeless encampment located at 2nd and Plum Streets that had been referred to as Camp Plum. The closing took place in stages beginning June 12th involving the relocation of 24 homeless people who lived in the riverfront encampment.
Prior to the closure, professional staff from the Department of Human Services and its partnering agencies worked with occupants to assess individual needs and provide needed resources. Former residents of the encampments will continue to be offered housing assistance and case management services to assist their transition into their new quarters.
This effort is a continuation of Mayor Francis Slay’s initiative, “The BEACH Project” which stands for the Beginning of the End: Abolishing Chronic Homelessness. The BEACH Project was previously announced by the Mayor during a Homeless Summit held in February, 2013.
The goal of the Project is to rapid re-house and provide wrap around services for every chronically homeless person identified during the January 30, 2013 homeless census, putting the City on track to achieve all of the goals of its 10-Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness. If accomplished, as expected, the City would be one of the first cities in the country to end chronic homelessness.
“The solution to ending homelessness is not tent cities or temporary encampments, as they are not safe or humane places,” said Mayor Slay. “Instead we want people to have a stable and healthy place to live, and that’s what we are doing for the encampment residents.”
“Contrary to what other cities have done in shutting down encampments by arresting residents and destroying their property, we chose to address the underlying problem – lack of housing – by assisting individuals to access permanent supportive housing,” added Bill Siedhoff, Director of Human Services. “For many of the residents it had been a long time since they had a place they could call home.”
The City also issued an appeal to the community to assist in making the transition for the former encampment residents as smooth as possible. Financial contributions can be made to the United Way of Greater St. Louis-Encampment Relocation Fund, 910 N. 10th St., St. Louis, MO 63101 or by calling the Department of Human Services at 314-657-1702.
Department of Human Services