KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV)-- The homeless camp in front of city hall has a notice to vacate by the end of the day tomorrow.
The city says what started out as a protest to demand more services for houseless people has turned into a public health and safety hazard.
“We are an actual homeless camp because we are telling you, you cannot avoid this. We are showing you the realities of homelessness here,” resident of the encampment, Lulu Livingston said.
The group of houseless people call themselves the “KC Homeless Union,” and they’re not just camping, they’re protesting.
“We are only asking for four simple things. Homes, jobs, access to clean water, and a seat at the table,” Livingston said.
City spokesperson Chris Hernandez says the city is ready to help with all of those things.
“We’ve let them know there are some beds available right now in existing local shelters that we can connect them with social services, and our hope is that everyone will take advantage of that and go to an existing shelter to get those services that they need,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez said some local shelters have even relaxed their entry requirements to allow more people to qualify for a bed, and for other services.
“While those services are available, we feel that they are inadequate and not enough,” Livingston said.
The city also announced a program where non-profits can buy vacant homes from the Kansas City Land Bank for one dollar, renovate them, then rent them to those in need.
But many houseless people skeptical they’ll ever qualify for the help.
Meanwhile, the city has given the camp a notice to vacate by the end of the day April 4th, or risk arrest.
“Hell no we won’t go,” Livingston said.
The notice says the camp is an illegal campground.
“We provided a porta-potty, yet we were having to clean human waste from not just the fountain areas but also the air vents that feed into City Hall. So these are issues that have moved this into a public health and safety concern,” Hernandez said.
The notice to vacate also applies to the homeless camp on Westport Road and Southwest Trafficway.