The city of Des Moines, Iowa has been fed up with the homeless population that had taken up residence along the city's Raccoon River for quite some time now. Yesterday, the city took serious action.
The fifty or so homeless people who had been living in tents along the river underneath the George Washington Carver Bridge were officially evicted by the city of Des Moines yesterday.
“Today they’re going to come down and take everybody’s stuff and throw it in the dump,” Don Welch told local news channel Who TV.
Welch, who had been living underneath the bridge with a few dozen other homeless Americans, was given the same ultimatum as his fellow tent-dwellers: leave the site with all of his possessions or have all of his belongings forcefully disposed of.
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This city claims to have given the inhabitants of this homeless community ample warning before sending a crew and a garbage truck to go through and throw away everything on the site.
“We’re not about criminalizing homelessness. We don’t want to arrest anybody, but at the same time, it’s time to move on,” said Phil Delafield, Director of Community Development in Des Moines.
The eviction has taken its toll on local homeless shelters. Central Iowa Shelter and Services said it will not turn away anyone looking for a place to stay, but the shelter is out of beds, reports Who TV. Over 50 people had to sleep in chairs in the shelter, as the shelter had run out of beds.
City officials are continuing to clean up the trash and extra belongings left behind by the homeless people who abandoned their campsites yesterday.