P/CP: St. Paul homeless encampment residents evicted by city Nov. 15
According to Kare 11, the city is pointing the residents toward their Winter Safe Space for relocation, however, resources are limited and admittance is referral-based only.
December 6, 2018
Clearing of homeless encampment, best option
Relocation for safety concern
The recent clearout of the St. Paul homeless encampment was done in the best way possible for the circumstances at hand and from a place of kindness, not disregard.
According to Kare 11, the inhabitants of the said area were notified two days prior to the eviction and also assisted by the city to a Winter Safe Space located in the basement of the Ramsey County Government Center. Not only did the eviction come with a prior alert, but the city also provided them with safer living options.
Considering it will only get colder moving into the months of December and January, the eviction of the encampment to safe locations for the winter seems like the best option for the homeless community. This is mainly to prevent frostbite and other health issues related to extended outdoor time during the harsh winter weather.
Not only being a hazard to the inhabitants themselves, the encampment was a safety hazard for drivers on the I-35E interstate. According to St. Paul’s head of safety, Ricardo Cervantes, there have been reports of fires, minor explosions and also trash being dumped onto the interstate due to the encampment.
I do not believe the eviction solved any problem regarding the system in which we live where such a large population are left homeless and have a very hard time getting out of that vicious cycle. However, it was the best solution for this specific problem.
Homeless evacuation negatively impacts local communities
City of St. Paul packs up tent city
The evacuation of the homeless encampment in St. Paul removed people from their homes, or tents, at a difficult time of year. No one wants to move so close to the holidays. According to Kare 11, many of the homeless residents have been living there for almost six months. The encampment, located on Cathedral Hill, was to be cleared out by 10 a.m. Nov. 15.
When they were forced to evacuate the area, they were also forced to leave the community they built, the friends and connections they made and the lives they knew. This means, wherever they end up, they will have to start over in an unfamiliar area with unfamiliar people. Homeless people need stability to increase their fiscal opportunities, according to Urban Institute.
According to Kare 11, the city believed the residents of the encampment would be in danger as the cold set in. However, most of the evicted relocated to an encampment in Hiawatha, where they will be just as susceptible to cold as they had been before.
The city claims the evacuation helps, but there are other, less problematic ways of aiding the homeless — like devoting resources to better shelters. According to Kare 11, the city tried to redirect the displaced to the Winter Safe Space, but it is exclusive and not enough for those in need. Rather than improving the homes of those at the encampment, the city pointlessly forced them to collect all of their belongings and move to another, an identical piece of frozen grass.