Kalamazoo evacuating homeless encampment due to flood concerns

Kalamazoo County

A bird’s-eye view of an encampment erected by homeless people in Kalamazoo. (Dec, 10, 2020)

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — An area of Kalamazoo where people experiencing homelessness are holding camp is being evacuated by the city due to flooding concerns.

The area, known as the Mills Street encampment, is located in the Kalamazoo River flood zone, and was covered by swift-moving flood waters in the 2018 flooding, a release from the city said.

City of Kalamazoo spokesperson Ryan Bridges says the city has been talking with everyone staying at the camp for several weeks to let them know the area will be evacuated out of “an abundance of caution.”

“Area housing and social services partners have been in contact with the residents. Most have already left the site, and those remaining are aware they have to leave by April 14,” Bridges said.

The city offered to relocate everyoneat the camp to a local hotel, and now 120 people from the camp are staying in a total of 85 rooms there, the release said.

The city also said it has cleared upwards of 600 cubic yards of abandoned debris and trash from both the Mills camp and a second camp on Ampersee Avenue.

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