KALAMAZOO, Mich. — A pair of homeless encampments in Kalamazoo was cleared out Thursday morning, one off of Stadium Drive and the other near the old Ampersee site.
"The space was cleared of approximately 30 people with no arrests to any of the unhoused population," Bridges said during a Zoom interview regarding the site near Stadium Drive. "They all left willingly and there were no issues this morning."
Bridges added that the location was owned by the Plaza Corporation who reached out to the city for assistance in clearing the old mobile home site.
RELATED: Kalamazoo's Ampersee homeless encampment vacated by police one week after initial deadline
By 11:30 a.m. that site had been cleared.
"The houseless members of our population vacated this morning some space that was in close proximity to the Ampersee encampment that was closed last week," Bridges said. "That action actually happened today without any level of enforcement from the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety."
Yancy Barrett who was a part of the homeless encampment last week said he felt as though his rights were violated.
"They came in and said 'You’ve got 10 minutes to leave. How would they like it if a thousand bikers and a thousand homeless showed up at your doorstep and say you got 10 minutes to leave?'" Barrett said. "They shut it down. They violated every constitutional right we had, every one of them."
Others disagreed. Some local residents said they needed to leave and the city should come up with long-term solutions for them.
"I think the city should step in and mediate this situation. Anytime people go and go on private property they should go to jail," said resident George McMillon. "If me, myself, if I went up on Bronson [Park] and pitched a tent in somebody’s yard on somebody’s property. I would go to jail. You know it and I know it and the city of Kalamazoo knows it."
Some of the people forced to leave went to a shelter, while those with pets went to a nearby parking lot because animals aren’t allowed inside the shelter.
“When u see people begging on the street, they’re asking for money to feed their pet,” says animal advocate.— Lauren Edwards (@LaurenEdwardsTV) October 14, 2021
People experiencing homelessness were moved from a site by police. Some went to a shelter. Others w/ animals went to nearby parking lot bc animals aren’t allowed. @FOX17 pic.twitter.com/kefK9QFGmZ
Officers also cleared another encampment on Hotop and Gilbert streets about 1 p.m.
The city said the group there was told a few days ago that they needed to leave.
No injuries or arrests were made during the process.
Some residents say they needed to leave, though some of the people experiencing homelessness said they felt violated.
"They came in and said, 'You've got 10 minutes to leave,'" said Yancy Barrett, a Kalamazoo resident experiencing homelessness. "How would they like if a thousand bikers and thousand homeless showed up at your doorstep and say you got 10 minutes to leave?"
But resident George McMillon says the city needed to step in and mediate the situation.
"You know, anytime people go and go on private property, they should go to jail," McMillon said. "If me, myself, if I went up on Bronson Boulevard and pitched a tent in somebody's yard on somebody's property, I would go to jail. You know it and I know it."