Downtown St. Louis Homeless Camp On Uncertain Ground As City Tries To Close It

St. Louis Public Radio

A federal judge has denied a request to block the City of St. Louis from clearing a downtown camp of homeless people.

The fate of the encampment off Market Street now is uncertain, as it is not clear when the city will take action. A spokesman for Mayor Lyda Krewson said her office is reviewing the decision.

Several aldermen, including Cara Spencer of the 20th Ward, who heads the city’s Health and Human Services Committee, have criticized Krewson’s office for its approach to clearing the camp. Spencer said this situation is a result of a breakdown of trust between the homeless population and the government for years.

“This is not a new problem,” she said.

Spencer, who in January announced plans to challenge Krewson in a 2021 mayoral run, said the city government has failed for the past six weeks to provide an adequate plan for the homeless population.

“These are human beings, and our government’s response to this pandemic will be judged on how we treat our most vulnerable,” she said. “We failed to do that, shame on us.”

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