Activists fighting for policy changes in Louisville to protect homeless

Changes coming to protect homeless in Louisville

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) - Less than a week after we first told you about a homeless camp being bulldozed without notice, people working with our most vulnerable citizens are making big changes so it doesn't happen again.

"Everything had been bulldozed, it was destroyed, there was nothing salvageable whatsoever,” one woman who lived at the camp shared.

She is one of the people who lost everything when city employees bulldozed her home, built inside a homeless camp on 12th street, near the river.

"I lost both of my parents' less than a year ago and I had the last letters that my dad and mom wrote me, obituaries and a driver’s license, I kept my dad's driver's license when he passed away and all of that was in my tent...I was just devastated," she said.

It happened during the day last Thursday.

RELATED: Groups outraged after homeless camp torn down, personal items destroyed

One LMPD officer said she gave people time to move what they wanted to keep, but many who live there were away from camp when officials showed up. When they got back to camp everything was gone, they said, and they turned to organizations like Fed with Faith for help.

"Lots of time we get informed when there's going to be a clear out," Jean Manganaro, with Fed with Faith, said.

But he said this time they didn't get the message. Police sent a note to the Coalition for the Homeless but the warning stopped there. 

Since then Fed with Faith and other outreach groups have worked with the Coalition to streamline the notification process, allowing the groups who work directly with the homeless to be there before a sweep happens.

Now, a leader from the major outreach groups will be contacted once the Coalition gets a notice and will be able to work with those affected.

"People are going to be displaced because we have a high population of homeless and transient people. So what is that we can do when this happens?” Manganaro said.

He also said they want to work with the city to develop a warning policy- such as a two-week notice before a sweep.

The groups also hope to learn more information on what areas may be open to homeless during the winter, without fear of being removed. 

You can help support these outreach groups by visiting their Facebook pages to learn more about the need. 

The Forgotten Louisville 
Hip-Hop Cares
Fed with Faith
Exit 0
My Dog Eats First
Keep Louisville Warm
The Burrito Riders
Fern Creek United Methodist Church

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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