Louisville Metro gives notice of intention to clear out homeless camps

Notices say people living the area must move by April 15, two weeks before Derby weekend.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Jeff Gill said he noticed the signs going up this morning on streets and under overpasses near downtown Louisville that have become a temporary home for many people.

“Everybody here, when they look at that, they feel like a criminal because in big, bold letters, all capital letters, it says you are trespassing,” he said. “You’ve got Preston, you’ve got Jackson, you’ve got Main Street that they all intent on clearing out.”

The notices, put up by Metro Public Works, give the people living in the area 21 days to move. The last day is April 15, two weeks before Derby weekend.

“There’s always sweeps or clearings of overpasses and sidewalk camps, anywhere that’s very public and visible to anybody that might come from out of town,” Gill said.

Several advocates and volunteers like Gill, who runs Hip Hop Cares, said they learned about the city’s intentions of clearing these encampments very recently. Some said they received an email from John Miles, the veteran coordinator with the Office for Veterans, which is a division of Resilience and Community Services.

“Please continue to provide supportive service and assistance to all our clients in this area,” Miles wrote in an email that was provided to WHAS11.

Gill said while the clearings are not new, they do not address some of the root problems affecting the people who live there. He said there needs to more permanent solutions, like housing and mental health resources made available to those who need it.

“By them clearing out all these sidewalks, all of these folks are then going to have to find somewhere to land, and it’s going to be not here,” he said. “So that could be anywhere, which means potential problems for businesses, potential problems for neighborhoods.”

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