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Homeless Encampment Moved, Repairs Begin At Detroit’s Hart Plaza

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DETROIT – A homeless camp was relocated from Hart Plaza in Detroit as labor teams begin repairing what has been labeled “unsafe” conditions on Monday.

The work – a $ 2.9 million project approved by Detroit City Council in November 2020 – includes the use of heavy machinery and the installation of electrical wiring and drainage work in the underground area where the homeless have congregated, said the city.

Detroit officials said the city had plans to move people living in the area to hotel rooms in accordance with CDC guidelines. Eleven people who lived in the area were taken to hotel rooms by the city, officials said on Friday.

“This will be an active construction site from April 26th to around the end of August,” the city said in a press release. “As with any construction project, it would be unsafe to have civilians on the construction site. As a precaution, we are temporarily accommodating these people for the duration of this project.”

The city has a policy of not removing people’s personal belongings from the site, according to a report by the Detroit Free Press. This was implemented after a sweep in 2019 and resulted in the disposal of items from homeless groups.

About 10,000 people are homeless in Detroit, according to a 2019 report by the Detroit Continuum of Care.

Officials from Eastside Mutual Aid, a community group that provides toiletries and groceries to homeless camps in the area, told the Detroit Free Press that they saw up to 50 people at Hart Plaza.

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Dusty Kennedy