No reprieve this time for Cincinnati homeless camp

Cincinnati City Council discusses Downtown homeless camps

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - City leaders remain steadfast as a deadline approaches for a Downtown homeless camp to clear out before the city closes and cleans it Friday.

Cincinnati City Council discussed the camp and overall issue of how to handle the homeless when they met Wednesday for their summer session.

Four council members are backing a motion directing the city administration to work with county leaders to establish a working group to provide recommendations on a long-term solution for those who cannot or will not go into a shelter.

"The group must include the most affected, including the residents and those experiencing homeless," reads the motion, submitted by Council Members Greg Landsman, Tamaya Dennard, Chris Seelbach and David Mann.

"Recommendations should leverage best practices and learning from cities across the country that also are working through similar challenges."

The motion calls for the group to be convened immediately, and that recommendations be presented to the public, council, mayor and county commission within 60 days.

Earlier this week, Cincinnati police served a 72-hour vacate order Tuesday on a five-tent camp of about 40 people along at 200 East Third Street near Walnut Street.

The area will be "closed for cleaning and maintenance" at 2 p.m. Friday.

Just last week, the city and police closed a homeless camp nearby, at Third and Plum streets under the Fort Washington Way bridge.

Yet another camp also has popped up Downtown near U.S. Bank Arena at 395 Broadway Street.

The city plans to issue a 72-hours vacate notice there, too, according to Cincinnati Police Captain Mike Neville, commander of the Central Business District. That will occur early next week, on Tuesday morning.

Mayor John Cranley said Tuesday the homeless camps have to go.

He said they are a public health hazard for the people who live there as well as the city as a whole.

There are several homeless shelters in the city, but the problem is availability.

The director of the David and Rebecca Barron Center for Men on Gest Street says they are at 130-percent of capacity.

The Ester Marie Hatton Center for Women on Reading Road has 60 beds and 78 women staying there.

The latest Third Street camp is refusing to move, however.

On Monday, the Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition released a list of demands for "The Third Street Coloney" to the city that included public restrooms with showers for the camp.

Maslow's Army is once again helping people at the Third Street homeless camp.

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