LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) -- Another homeless camp was cleared out by the city Friday morning, Dec. 8, but this time, those affected knew it was coming and had time to prepare. This comes after a camp was cleared without notice in November and several people lost their personal belongings.
Doing it differently this time, LMPD lead the charge to make sure those affected were aware.
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"My momma always told me, what you put yourself through, get yourself out of the best way you can," Byron Peeler said.
Peeler, who goes by Roc, has called the corner near Floyd and Jefferson home for the last four years.
"I've been praying every night and my spirit is strong enough to handle it," Peeler said.
He said the early morning clean out was no surprise and he has a plan.
Peeler said, "Just have to hold on. I've got a young man who's going to put me up in a hotel for a few days. I think I'll be alright. I think I'll be alright."Police posted "No Trespassing" signs at the site and others weeks ago.
It’s part of a new initiative to give notice before a homeless camp is cleared. The new plan was put in place after a public outcry when a camp was swept in November without notice and more than a dozen people lost their personal belongings.RELATED: Several homeless to be forced out, as bitter cold moves into Kentuckiana
"This is the first time since we started the email distribution list and everybody was all on the same page. This was our goal, to get everybody out here so we could address this issue as one group," LMPD’s Lt. Todd Felty said.
Felty lead the operations Friday morning.
"We are not taking anybody's home. Our sole goal here is to clean up trash in an unhealthy environment. The last thing we want to do is take anyone's home," Felt said.He worked to arrange officers to be there to help move personal belongings first thing, asked outreach representatives to be available to offer alternatives and once everyone is ready gave Solid Waste Management the “go ahead” to bulldozes the site. RELATED: Groups outraged after homeless camp torn down, personal items destroyed
"This went absolutely smoothly today. If we could reproduce this every time it would be a real win," Felty said.
Roc said he is grateful for the kindness and compassion and he has a message for the city in the future."Don't leave us behind. Don't leave no human being behind. Help us," Peeler said.
Metro Council is currently considering a new ordinance that would require the 21-day notice that was given at this site to be part of the procedure.
Everyone involved in Friday’s sweep said it was those new proposed policies that made the clear out go as smoothly as it did.