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City clears tent communities in downtown Louisville

In mid-September, eviction notices went up in several downtown homeless encampments. The people living in these spaces were given 21 days to relocate.

Now, 22 days later, the city has come in to clear the area of the people living there and their belongings.

The area cleared included tent communities along Jackson, Jefferson, Preston, Main, Market, Hancock, and Liberty Streets bound by Brook and Floyd Streets.

Julia Danke, a spokesperson for the city, said in an email that up to 40 people were moved in Wednesday’s clearing.

Of those, 21 chose to go to shelters in the city. Seventeen were accepted at Wayside Christian Mission, while the other four went to The Healing Place. 

In the past, the city has cited health and safety concerns for residents of the encampments and those living in the surrounding areas as reasons behind the clearings.

Camps at I-264 and Southern Parkway as well as Second and Florence Streets also received notices to clear earlier this year. Those camps were cleared in August and September. 

The total number of people cleared from the area is not tracked by the city. Instead, the city counts the total number of structures at an encampment prior to posting eviction notices. So far this year, there were a total of 77 structures counted across three camps prior to the eviction notices being posted. The largest number of which was counted at the downtown encampments. 

Danke said the city currently has no other encampment scheduled to clear but will continue to do risk assessments as new camps are settled.

Breya Jones is the Arts & Culture Reporter for LPM. Email Breya at bjones@lpm.org.

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