City leaders claim neighboring counties are dumping off homeless - KMOV.com

City leaders claim neighboring counties are dumping off homeless

ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- St. Louis City leaders claim that more homeless people are showing up downtown because surrounding counties are driving its homeless into St. Louis...and dumping them.

The extra homeless population is stretching city resources to its limits.  No laws are being broken by dropping the homeless into the city, but officials say it is getting out of hand.

The St. Louis Director of Health uses "Hopeville," a homeless camp along the river, as an example of how the homeless are being taken to St. Louis.  Sixty people lived at the camp last summer.

"Every one of the individuals in the encampment came from outside the city limits," William Siedhoff, St. Louis Director of Health, said.

The New Life Evangelistic Center is also feeling the pinch with resources as they have emptied office space to accommodate as many as 300 people this year.  In comparison, it used to hold 175 people last year.
 
St. Louis County officials say they do drop off homeless people in downtown because the county pays the private shelters per bed that they use.

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