Justice Unhoused

Homeless advocates removed after occupying empty building

Activists pushing for vacant properties to be used for shelter occupied an old building for over an hour.

A vacant building on Kalamazoo’s east side became the site of a protest in defense of the unhoused on Friday afternoon.

A group calling itself No One Needs To Sleep Outside Kzoo (NONTSO) broke into a former publishing office at 20 Mills St. Once inside, members hung hand-painted banners from the roof with messages such as “Eviction = Violence” and “It’s vacant, take it.”

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The building they occupied has been empty for years and currently belongs to the Kalamazoo County Land Bank. Nearby is an encampment where unhoused people have congregated with only tents for shelter from the winter cold.

A message from NONTSO to local media pressured city and county leaders to do more to help get people off the streets.

“We demand that City, County, and Land Bank stop prioritizing profit over human lives, and address the plight of our community members most at risk now,” read the statement.

The group left peacefully after public safety officers arrived and no one was arrested.

You can read more on WWMT.

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