Original Story and Video from KSDK
Vandals hit Frontenac neighborhood overnight
November 30, 2011
Frontenac, MO (KSDK) – Vandals hit a Frontenac neighborhood and what they wrote is getting everyone’s attention.
Police say they’re using the Occupy movement to do the damage. It happened at the entrance to Portland Estates off Geyer road just south of Clayton.
Residents are very upset, meantime police believe someone left messages to make it look like they are tied to the occupy movement.
Wednesday night, vandals scrawled two large messages on the concrete columns which were just put up less than a month ago. One message said “occupy” while the other said “wake up.”
“The occupy term anyone can put that on their whether that’s their cause or no so it’s not really that and it’s the damage they have done to our front entrance after we’ve worked a year and a half to put it in place,” said resident John Jordan.
Residents in the neighborhood association are also upset because they came up with the $80,000 to pay for the new entrance.
Right now police aren’t aware of a motive but said they think the vandalism is the work of someone simply trying to get attention.
Neighbors are putting up a $2,000 reward leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for the vandalism.
Original Story and Video from Fox2
Homeless Residents Not Evicted From Hopeville
December 1, 2011
ST. LOUIS (KTVI-FOX2now.com)— Homeless individuals who live in tents and shacks on the St. Louis riverfront expected to be ordered to leave their camps Thursday by city officials. But no one came to evict them and the director of Social Services Bill Seidhoff said that was never the city’s intent.
“It was merely a goal to get them into permanent housing by December first due to winter weather,” Seidhoff said. That goal proved to be more difficult than expected. “Some individual situations present difficult problems and some persons don’t want to work with us at all,” he said.
According to a city survey in September, 61 adults were living in the three camps, Hopeville, Dignity Harbor and Sparta stretched along vacant land south of Mullamphy Street adjacent to the flood wall. The city worked to connect social service agency caseworkers to each homeless person.
So far Seidhoff says 25 individuals have moved out of the homeless camps into transitional or permanent housing. Housing vouchers are available to help some who have mental illness or drug abuse issues. Another 15 should be ready to leave by mid-December he said.
Then we have some individuals who are not cooperating at all …people who won’t work with us in any way,” Seidhoff said. “They want to stay there. Those are gonna be the ones that present the biggest problem for us,” he predicted.
Tedra Franks, who describes herself as the Hopeville mayor, offered a different count. She said 16 have been placed and 37 remain.
“The people that already got the help they are very excited about what’s about to take place in their life,” Franks said Thursday as she stood in the middle of a small tent neighborhood.
About nine persons were visible in the camp, some standing around fires of scrap wood, others sorting scrap metal to sell for nine cents a pound.
“This keep a lot of us out of trouble..don’t got to walk around or break into no cars..nothing like that just go to the river and just grab it from down there,” explained a young man who calls the camp home. He works to salvage debris that washes up along the Mississippi River bank, sorts it and sells what he can.
For some of the “Hopeville residents” the freedom of living outdoors and coming and going as they please is worth whatever hardship weather or camp life presents.
“I won’t go live in a dorm with dozens of twenty year olds,” said a woman who said she was in her fifties. She said such transitional housing imposed too many rules on residents.
Another issue Franks raised is finding housing that allows pets. “A lot of people that have pets.they are wanting to go somewhere where they can take their pets cause their pets are like their children,” Franks said.
Bad credit or an unpaid utility bill may keep others from qualifying for an apartment.
Seidhoff said the city survey of the homeless in September showed seventy percent had some kind of “mental disorder or co-occuring disorder such as substance abuse.” But St. Louis now has some 300 units of supported housing staffed with counselors who can help individuals regain their ability to live independently. It’s part of a decade long effort to end chronic homelessness.
Franks praised the city for working with people. ” I want everybody down here to utilize the services that are being offered. It’s a great opportunity to have a new start back in the city,” she said. But at the same time she is worried some won’t make it and will have to rebuild another “Hopeville.”
City designated emergency shelters will be available during the winter for anyone who is homeless.