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Kansas City Public Works begins litter clean up at Westport homeless camp

Westport litter cleanup
Posted at 3:08 PM, Jul 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-18 21:36:03-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — Crews from Kansas City Public Works cleared a homeless camp near Westport on Sunday, as part of a city-wide litter clean up.

Kansas City, Missouri's, temporary shelter program for the homeless came to an end on Thursday.

As a result, people were forced to check out of KCMO hotels after living there for 90 days. With no where to go once again, some people returned to Camp 6ixx on Friday.

Some were frustrated when the KCMO Public Works began to clear the homeless camp on Sunday.

“We’re back out here to make a statement,” Mike Johnson, who's experiencing homelessness said. “You know, ‘Hey you broke your promise. You need to uphold your promise, period.’”

In a press release Sunday, the city of Kansas City said this is all apart of a "citywide effort focused on litter, improper storage and tenting in the public right of way."

City code currently prohibits littering and depositing of personal property in these areas. More than anything, city officials say it is a matter of safety.

“We’ve all taken accidents here at this intersection where cars went out of control and then end up basically right where those tents are,” KCPD Capt. Mike Glass said. “Our goal is not to get anybody in jail. Our goal is try to get them services and get them some place else.”

People living in the tents were relocated to The Scout near Penn Valley park in RideKC buses.

“It’s wrong for people to think that just because we’re homeless or we don’t have a place to go, that we don’t want more for our lives," Monique Snead, who's experiencing homelessness said. "I want more, I have two kids."

In the press release, the city said the litter pickup frequently happens around KCMO.

"City code prohibits littering and depositing of personal property in public right-of-way," the city said in a press release. "Litter pickup in the public right-of-way is a regular activity supported by Public Works crews that happens frequently around Kansas City. City code also prohibits tenting on property without landowner consent, which becomes a life safety concern for persons occupying public property."

The city’s release also stated it will continue to work with those experiencing homelessness and are affected by this on-going effort.