by Travis Mateer
Now that the official date of January 25th has come and gone–the date given to illegal campers under and around the Reserve Street bridge to be out from the encampment–what is actually happening?
The only thing I can determine that happened on the 25th is that gates have been installed, closing the gaps left by the Idaho company MDOT hired to put in the fencing. Nothing has been done to begin cleaning up the area “A” has called home for 3 years.
To prove that claim, here are some pics I took Friday.
Now, I haven’t spoken with “A” since January 25th, so I’m not sure if he’s been relocated yet. When I spoke with him a week ago, he was adamant that he had every right to be there. And that’s a big part of my concern.
Leaving this visible evidence of “A’s” camp sends a strong message that there’s no real plan to keep people from inhabiting this area. It makes me wonder why the dead of winter was selected to begin enforcing no camping in this area in the first place.
When I spoke with Bob Vosen of MDOT about this, he indicated that a cleanup would happen in March. In the meantime, the private security firm Rogers International will be doing “sweeps” to keep people from camping.
I’ll be going out to the camps today to see how things are going. When I was out there last week I ran into members of the Mobile Crisis Team looking for a client.
So stay tuned this week for more updates, and thanks for reading!