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Groups Want New Homeless Camp Removal Rules

Posted at 6:25 PM, Apr 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-17 21:32:30-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18)- Several of Lexington’s homeless lost everything in only a matter of hours this winter when their makeshift homes and belongings were removed…some without any notice.

Now local organizations like the Catholic Action Center are asking for a new ordinance to ensure they are given more notice before they’re removed.

Donald and Melissa Clinton were living in one of Lexington’s homeless camps until November when it was taken down.

“I tried to explain to them we have personal items that can’t be replaced, they had no empathy or anything towards us. It really made me feel incomplete like I’m nothing,” Donald Clinton told LEX 18.

The Clintons say they had no warning. The Office of Homelessness Prevention and Intervention says they give ample warning when clearing camps, but other city divisions might not. That’s why the Catholic Action Center is asking for a citywide ordinance to assure all homeless campers get 21 days notice.

“It’s like a never ending cycle and we just want a little time. If we do have to pack our stuff up and relocate that is fine. But my wife and I are in the process of getting out of this situation, where we do have a stable income and house and it will come we just have to have faith,” said Clinton.

The group is asking for the following rules in the ordinance:

1. A 21-day notice will be posted unless a verified critical health or safety issue exists

2. No evictions will occur from November through March except for verified health and safety reasons

3. That the Compassionate Caravan be notified within 24 hours of all impending/emergency evictions to assist the campers with their belongings and the CAC will provide 30-day storage for those being displaced with a memorandum of agreement with LFUCG.

The Catholic Action Center is also urging the city to not remove camps in the winter and if there is an emergency and a camp needs to be taken down, the center would like to be notified so they can assist in helping campers pack up their belongings.