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Kalamazoo plans to close Mills Street homeless encampment

Kalamazoo County Homeless Encampments
Posted at 12:49 PM, Apr 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-09 12:49:30-04

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — The City of Kalamazoo announced Friday that it would close the Mills Street encampment on April 14 at p.m.

It’s located in the Kalamazoo River flood zone and the city says it’s evacuating the area “out of an abundance of caution to protect residents,” according to a news release.

The Mills Street site experienced swift moving flood waters during the flood of 2018.

“As the seasons change and we anticipate more rain, we are taking the proactive step of closing the Mills Street encampment,” said Ryan Bridges, public information officer for the City of Kalamazoo. “The City has been communicating with residents of the encampment for the last few weeks to let them know this was coming, and area housing and social services partners have been in contact with the residents. Most have already left the site, and those remaining are aware they have to leave by April 14.”

In the weeks leading up to the closure, all encampment residents were offered the option to relocate to a local hotel.

About 120 people are currently being housed in 85 rooms at the hotel.

The city’s contractor has also cleared more than 600 cubic yards of trash and abandoned debris from the Mills Street and Ampersee encampments.

Cleaning efforts continue at both sites.