LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Another Louisville homeless camp is scheduled to be cleared out this week as the city names a new homeless services director.
City leaders posted a notice Monday telling people living at Ninth and Market streets to leave the area near the ramp to Interstate 64. The notice cited health and safety concerns for both people in the camp and the surrounding community.
Over the next few days, volunteers with homeless outreach organizations will give the homeless living at the camp information about shelters, help with housing and behavioral health services.
The camp, on the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet property, is expected to be cleared by Metro Public Works at 8 a.m. Thursday.
Louisville has been working to get more homeless off the streets. In early October, the city targeted an eight-block area to dismantle homeless camps and get residents help finding shelter and getting medical and mental health assistance. Nina Moseley, COO of Wayside Christian Mission, said 18 people sought shelter there when they cleared that encampment on Jefferson Street under I-65. That area is now lined again with people in tents and sleeping bags.
"I'm a strong advocate for folks going into shelters, because there's such a many layered approach for folks, and they can keep them comfortable while they're awaiting housing opportunities," Moseley said.
Outreach groups were on-site helping people living in the camps pack up what belongings they could. The city gave a 21-day notice on the clearing, which is part of a long-term plan meant to address homelessness and aims to get people into permanent housing. The camp at Ninth and Market streets is getting a 24-hour notice.
The notice to the camp comes as Louisville announces a Homeless Services Director. Dr. Susan Buchino will help coordinate the city's homeless initiatives through the Louisville Metro Office of Resilience and Community Services. In a release, the city said Buchino will be responsible for "strategizing and advocating for resources and services to combat homelessness; and providing planning, evaluation and other expertise in the areas of the city’s Homelessness Taskforce, the Homeless Initiative Recipient Model, homeless encampments, and best practices."
Buchino will stay on at the University of Louisville as assistant professor in the Department of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences, School of Public Health and Information Sciences. She has been a consultant for some of Metro Louisville's homeless initiatives since 2019.
Others who work with the homeless community, like Chad Caine with Keep Louisville Warm, hope to have an open dialogue with city leaders to provide the safest place for them to go.
"Check with us on what we think they should do, because the fact is when they do these clearings, it's people like us that go out and have to replace the tents, that have to relocate the people," Caine said.
That's exactly what Buchino said she wants, too.
"It's a large team effort," Buchino said. "We need every sector, every discipline to solve this problem."
The new role will allow Buchino to help with Louisville’s pilot project aimed at diverting some 911 calls away from a police response and to a mobile crisis response team.
Louisville put homelessness and affordable housing as a top priority for spending the city's $388 million allotment of federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding.
For more information about Louisville Metro’s Homeless Services Division, click here.
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