MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (FOX19) - The Middletown police chief wrote in a Facebook post Tuesday that other communities are dropping off homeless people there and exhausting the city’s resources.
Middletown Police Chief Rodney Muterspaw claimed that 75% of the people experiencing homelessness in Butler County come from other cities, counties, and states. He said that other police agencies and cities are “discarding” these individuals outside of local homeless shelters.
“The problem is most of our homeless are not from here. We have a huge problem with other cities (they know who they are), dumping homeless people here because they don’t want them in their city,” Muterspaw wrote in the post. "Many times our officers respond to a person wandering around downtown only to find they were given a voucher for a cab from another city and sent here, even though they have never been to Middletown. "
Muterspaw explained that sometimes when these people are dropped off by cabs in front of the shelters, they are often at capacity or not even open.
Muterspaw was not available for comment Tuesday.
Representatives from Hope House, a local shelter, said of the 409 people they’ve assisted in the last year, almost half are from Middletown. Sixty-five are from areas outside of Butler County, however, they’re not disputing Muterspaw’s figures because officers see many people who never make it through the shelter’s doors.
“It’s not good,” Middletown resident Michelle Allen said. “I’ve had a lot of friends that have gone through homelessness, close friends, and it’s usually a drug situation ... I mean, people are pretty poor.”
Muterspaw noted the situation has been a drain on the city’s resources.
“This trend has to stop. We can’t handle the overload,” Muterspaw said in the post. “It is inhumane and it is irresponsible.”