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Homeless encampment cleared by city


By Leslie Aguilar, Nick Sloan

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    KANSAS CITY, Missouri (KCTV) — A small group of individuals have set up tents in Penn Valley Park after the city cleared the homeless encampment in Westport.

They say city crews brought them to Penn Valley Park by bus earlier on Sunday.

City officials say the move was made for safety.

“We’re asking them to voluntarily move out of the right away because it’s dangerous to be out here,” said Michael Shaw, Director of Public Works. “There are a lot of traffic accidents in this area. So for safety reasons and having a lot of trash and litter in the right of way, we’re just asking people to be mindful of the city right away.”

The city also sent a statement explaining the encampment was violating city code which prohibits littering and depositing of personal property in public right-of-way.

Some of the homeless individuals set up tents following the end to a temporary solution that allowed 500 people to stay in hotel rooms for 90 days.

Ashlea Handy, who has been houseless for two years, said she didn’t get any long term help.

“We figured we’d get there and we would all get some there in life,” she said. “But as soon as we get to the hotels, they only help certain people. There’s people they didn’t help. Like me. They told me I had to get an ID on my own.”

Monique Sneed, who is also staying in a tent with the group, says she hasn’t been able to find any long-term solutions despite working three part-time jobs.

“The cost of living, the expense of living, it’s just really expensive,” Sneed said.

The city is working on a tiny home village to help alleviate the homeless problem.

The ordinance is going through the legislative process and will be discussed Wednesday in the Neighborhood Planning and Development Committee.

“I’m tired of being homeless. I don’t want to be houseless no more. I’ve said it for the last six months, I’m tired of it. I am ready. I’m ready to move on with my life,” Sneed said.

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