(KMOV)-- The City of St. Louis announced Friday that it has established rules to protect safety at homeless encampments along the Riverfront.
The city has set out specific rules for dozens who refuse to go to shelters and reside in these encampments.
The City has taken the position that it will allow the encampments as long as the people living there don't bother or hurt themselves or others, and as long as public safety and public health are not put in jeopardy.
Some of the rules include no drugs or criminal activity, no drunkenness, and cooperation with police and the health department.
Chief Dennis Jenkerson stated that "We are going to allow the people there to use legal sources of energy to stay warm. If they use propane or build a fire in a responsible way, no one will get hurt. But, if they use propane or build an open fire while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, someone could get hurt."
The Fire Department is pre-planning so it can respond to a fire or other emergency.
The Human Services Department is going to do a census count to help the Fire Department plan for an emergency.
The Health Department will regularly inspect the encampment.
The City reserves the right to dismantle the encampments if the residents bother or hurt others or if the individuals put themselves or others in danger. The City will continue to offer homeless services to those who want them.