Activists protest shutdown of homeless encampment
Protesters gathered on the steps of Kalamazoo City Hall Wednesday afternoon just hours after city officials announced plans to shut down a homeless encampment near the Kalamazoo River on the city’s east side.
The protesters’ basic message was painted on a banner strung across the steps: “Where will they go?”
Over 100 unhoused people have been living at the so-called Ampersee encampment since the spring. It has only grown in size as the city’s homelessness problem has grown.
City leaders cited problems with crime and complaints from neighbors in their decision to close the camp. A press release issued Wednesday said people living at the camp will have until September 29 to leave or face arrest.
“Removing them from this camp removes them from both established resources that they’ve had and then also their families and people that they love,” Kalamazoo resident Mabel Graves told MLive. “And this decision was made without any input in the decision.”
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