- Associated Press - Friday, February 5, 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - Advocates for the homeless say Springfield police have told people they have 48 hours to leave homeless camps in the city.

The city gave notice Thursday to people in at least three camps. Those who don’t leave within 48 hours will face trespassing or public camping charges.

The Springfield News-Leader (https://sgfnow.co/20LeZMF ) reports that it’s unclear how many homeless will be displaced.

Devery Mills, founder of Hearts for the Homeless, estimated as many as 100 people will have to leave. Advocates for the homeless followed police Thursday to offer food, water and information about services for the homeless.

“When there are campsites that are identified on private property, they call me and we can do some outreach,” said Michelle Garand, director of affordable housing and homeless prevention at Community Partnership of the Ozarks. “It’s pretty amazing (police) will partner with a nonprofit and connect them with a service.”

Police spokeswoman Lisa Cox said when tents were found, police posted signs telling occupants it was time to relocate and provided a phone number for One Door, a nonprofit that helps people find housing. Police said they found 19 tents and talked with nine people at the camps.

Cox said multiple camps were broken up on the same day because it takes coordination between the police, One Door and the city’s Building Development Services to find a day to go as a group.

A group of about 30 people located on railway property was among the homeless camps vacated.

“It’s shameful that a group of people should be targeted (by the city),” Mills said. “Their basic human needs aren’t met in this city.”

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Information from: Springfield News-Leader, https://www.news-leader.com

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