City of Kalamazoo to Address Homeless Demands
It's not the usual stroll in the park in Kalamazoo. In fact, other than the homeless protesters and the police, only a handful of Kalamazoo citizens were taking advantage of Bronson Park on one of the nicest weather days of 2018.
Between 60-100 homeless protesters have camped out at the downtown park, located behind the courthouse in Kalamazoo since August 19th. A story in M-Live details demands delivered from the protesters to City Hall on Monday. The Kalamazoo City Commission unanimously passed a motion to address the demands.
- The police department to investigate crimes against the homeless.
- Provide access to mental, emotional and physical health supports to the encampment
- Provide a structurally sound, vacant building that protesters can coordinate volunteer contractor services for, in order to get the property up to code in time to move in before winter
- Utilize the expertise of the protest group, and national best practices, to develop a long-term "housing first" policy that better addresses the issue of homelessness in the future.
As negotiations continue, city officials have said it's only a matter of time before police could enforce ordinances that prevent sleeping and camping in parks.
Here are some photos of the scene on Tuesday afternoon during the lunch hour.