The city of St. Louis has yet to take action on makeshift homeless camps

ST. LOUIS – A man fears his pregnant wife may give birth on the lawn of St. Louis City Hall. The couple lives there in a tent. The city of St. Louis has allowed people to live there and on city sidewalks and alleys.

A group of residents in south St. Louis took action on their own Tuesday.

It’s been four weeks since FOX 2 first told you about a makeshift shelter made of blankets and shopping carts outside a home on the sidewalk at Chippewa and Spring in south St. Louis.

The city of St. Louis allowed a couple to stay there for two years. The shelter continues to grow and now extends about three feet from the Spring Avenue curb into the street.

A similar shelter appeared Tuesday morning in an alley about five blocks away. It was gone within a few hours.

A woman who lived in the alley shelter told FOX 2 that residents evicted her.

The landlord of a neighboring apartment building said no one wants a repeat of the situation in Spring and Chippewa.

“(That’s) the first thing that comes to mind,” said landlord Michael Golde, Golde Real Estate LLC. “It’s totally embarrassing that this has been going on for so long. The city should definitely take action.”

Golde is also a member of the Metropolitan Taxicab Commission.

A spokesperson for the city of St. Louis told FOX 2 that a team from the city’s Department of Human Services and the International Institute are continuing to contact the Sudanese couple living in squalor on the sidewalk at Spring and Chippewa, but there is no plan in place to use force to move them.

William Clay and his wife are now part of a group of people living in tents directly beneath Mayor Tishaura Jones’ office window and St. Louis City Hall. Clay’s wife is seven months pregnant. He fears she might give birth in the tent.

The city has contracts with several shelters to provide 600 homeless beds, the spokesman said.

Many remain open, but shelters typically do not allow men and women, including married couples, to stay together. Clay says that’s discrimination.

“We are here to make a statement,” he said. “We’re here to tell our story and show people what’s really going on in the city.”

They have posted signs outside their tents to draw attention to the rule that prohibits them from staying in the same accommodation until they get back on their feet.

“We’re trying to get to a place where we can all be family, I can go back to work and we can start building a future,” Clay said.

The Department of Human Services makes several outreach attempts each week to encourage people in the tents to take advantage of all the resources available to them, the spokesman said.

There is also currently no plan to force them to move. The city of St. Louis has yet to take action on makeshift homeless camps

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