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Residents, volunteers protest closing of Kalamazoo homeless encampment

Posted at 11:12 AM, Sep 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-29 19:03:09-04

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Today is the day people living in a Kalamazoo homeless encampment are required to evacuate.

Residents and volunteers turned up just before 9 a.m. to protest the closure.

Volunteers are offering up food, clothing and other resources for the around 150 people who will be put out of a place to stay.

Volunteers protesting have put up signs like “Where will they go?” and “Housing is a right,” with some even working to barricade the entrances to try to prevent removal.

It’s been only five months since the Mills Street encampment across the river closed, with all those people moving into the Ampersee location.

But the city said due to an uptick in violence and diseases over the last few months, it’s the smartest decision to close down.

While there are a variety of nonprofit and community organizations allegedly helping, many of the residents say it hasn’t been enough.

The city has decided to delay the enforcement of the order to clear out. Some people have already left, but many are still at the encampment.