State Reps file federal complaint against St. Louis over new hom - KMOV.com

State Reps file federal complaint against St. Louis over new homeless shelter location

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A new homeless shelter just north of downtown St. Louis is causing big concerns for a predominantly black community. (Credit: KMOV) A new homeless shelter just north of downtown St. Louis is causing big concerns for a predominantly black community. (Credit: KMOV)
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

A new homeless shelter just north of downtown St. Louis is causing big concerns for a predominantly black community.

State Representatives Bruce Franks Jr. and Joshua Peters filed a complaint against the city with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The representatives claim the city violated the Fair Housing Act when it opened the Biddle Housing Opportunities Center in the Carr Square neighborhood in August.

"We see a lot of strangers walking around and that's kind of scary for the children," said longtime Carr Square resident Edna Jones. "It's just a lot of issues and folks are sick, I just hope it gets better."

The 24-hour homeless facility has absorbed many of the displaced people following the closures of the New Life Evangelistic Center and the Bridge Shelter downtown.

Carr Square is a 98 percent African-American community. The representatives are asking HUD to conduct an investigation, alleging the city defied the U.S. Constitution and promoted segregation with the placement of the new homeless shelter.

"We work hard every day to make sure we are being good neighbors," said Eddie Roth, director of the city's Department of Human Services, in a statement to News 4. "We have welcomed since the day we opened the scrutiny, guidance, and advice of the community."

So far, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has not responded to the representatives' complaint.

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