Railroad company says Louisville homeless camp near tracks must - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Railroad company says Louisville homeless camp near tracks must relocate

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Inside the Campbell camp near RJ Corman Railroad's tracks. Inside the Campbell camp near RJ Corman Railroad's tracks.
LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- Campbell Camp is split down the middle by railroad tracks, which R.J. Corman Railroad says is a safety concern, but the homeless residents say they're willing to compromise if they get to stay.

"We need help. I don't know what we're going to do yet," said a homeless man who goes by "Chief."

The camp has all the signs of a home: a clock, a phone and even a restroom of sorts.

"This is our house. I don't mess with anybody down on the streets. I just stay home," Chief said.

The homeless residents who live in the camp in downtown Louisville have recently been faced with a hard reality. Their home is on the property of R.J. Corman Railroad.

"Please show some mercy on us. We've lived here a while now. Please help us out," Chief pleaded to our cameras Thursday.

A spokesperson with the RJ Corman Railroad company says it's operated the tracks near the camp since 2005. The camp has been around since 1987, but the company says it's worried about the safety of the residents.

Chief has lived at Camp Campbell for a few months and says they're all very careful when crossing the tracks.

"We can hear a big horn. We know a big horn. We know when to cross the street so we know when to cross the tracks," he said.

Even so, the railroad company put signs up Thursday along the rails to caution people of the dangers. We're told verbal warnings have been given but a deadline for evacuation hasn't been set.

"Part of me wants to move the camp to the waterfront so Louisville can see what's really going on here and how many people are going to be dispersed and part of me wants to do it a quiet way and move them to a safe place no one knows about," said Jean Manganaro with Fed With Faith.

He says trying to move 40 homeless people from the camp won't be easy. "We have people here who won't go to a shelter and for many, many, many different reasons," he explained.

"I don't want to stay in the shelters because the people in the shelters are rude to me," said Chief.

A representative with the railroad tells WDRB it's working with the homeless coalition to make sure every resident has a place to go. The company said it's trying to be as compassionate as possible and said it has nothing against the homeless but safety is a huge concern.

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