MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – With colder temperatures in the forecast, many have turned their attention to the number of people sleeping outside in encampments.
The City of St. Paul has notified people sleeping in tents along Shepard Road that they have to leave. WCCO’s Reg Chapman has more on the city’s plans to get its growing homeless population shelter before the storm.READ MORE: Hopkins Police Investigating Homicide At Apartment Building
“They just said they have to go and whatever is leftover is thrown away,” said Paris, a volunteer helping people pack up their belongings.
She says many of the folks who set up camp here along Lower Landing Park are her friends.
“Where are they going to go and how are they going to get their stuff there?” Paris added.
The City of St. Paul says it did let people who live in this tent city know they had to move. City officials consider living near a busy road and underneath this railroad platform a health and safety risk.
Some have already moved their belongings, others are packing slowly — afraid to leave the family they’ve created here.
“It was very safe here, I mean even though the train made a lot of noise it was very safe,” explained Saritha Bounds.
Bounds says she’s been living here for about 6 weeks.READ MORE: Mass Casualty Simulation Helps Nat'l Guard, Children's Minnesota Practice Treating Kids
“I’m proud that I have somewhere to sleep and know how to fix it up and how to be creative,” said Bounds.
St. Paul officials say they had to be creative in its approach to handle the growing number of homeless in the city.
Community partners are providing outreach and social service workers who are identifying those in need are connecting them with resources, to get out of a tent and into a stable home.
For Bounds, help is what she needs to change her situation.
“This is not me, but if I ain’t got no other choice this is me for now,” Bounds said.
She says if there is no room at area shelters she will take what she has and move to another location, something the city wants to prevent.
St. Paul hopes by working with others it can create space so tent cities are not needed.
All shelters in St. Paul are at capacity. Ramsey County is working with its partners to open up Winter Safe Housing inside Government Center East in Downtown St. Paul.MORE NEWS: Amid Missionary Hostage Crisis, Minnesotan From Port-Au-Prince Wishes 'Haiti Would Get The Help They Need'