Louisville homeless camp could be forced to clear out - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville homeless camp could be forced to clear out

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LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- The biggest homeless camp in Louisville could soon be forced to move.

About 40 people live in the homeless camp off Campbell Street and they say if they're forced to leave, they aren't sure where they'll go.

The homeless camp is often referred to as Campbell Camp because it's located just off Campbell Street in downtown Louisville.

It's also known as hobo village and tent city.

The residents who live there say railroad officials made a recent visit with some unwelcome news.

"They came up to one side of the camp and told them they had a 30 day notice. They came back this past Thursday and told us not to walk on the tracks and gave us a two week notice that they were going to close it down," said homeless resident Wendy Whiting.

Residents say the camp has existed since 1987.

The tree cover and its distance from the road makes it a fairly safe place to sleep.

Wendy Whiting has lived at Campbell Camp for a few months.

"We have no where else to go. There are families down here. There's some people that have been down here for years. We don't want to go into shelters," said Whiting.

Jean Manganaro with the non-profit Fed With Faith visits three times a week to assist with the residents' needs.

"We received word that the railroad had come down with either security officers or officers to let the residents know that they had to leave within 12 days," Manganaro told WDRB.

He said they're trying to figure out why, after all these years, the company that owns the railroad near the camp, would want the residents to leave.

"We understand there's been some complaints about a break in in the area here and it was blamed on one of our residents here. I have had correspondence with coalition and Seven Counties. They've assured me that LMPD has no orders to evacuate this camp at this time so that leads me to believe it's a private effort by the railroad," he said.

Manganaro said many of the residents will go to Waterfront Park if they're forced to leave.

He said they hope that will show the community and officials that the homeless depend on that camp for shelter.

But a sit in at Waterfront Park will likely result in jailtime.

WDRB asked Wendy why she's willing to go to jail to prove a point.

"Because we all have to be ready. Because we all have to be ready for it," she said.

WDRB is waiting to hear back from the railroad company on specifics behind wanting to clear out the homeless camp.

According to the residents and volunteers with Fed With Faith, they have until the end of September to move the tents.


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