st. Louis-Missouri’s new law prohibits people from sleeping, camping or setting up shelters on state land.
Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed HB 1606 last summer, and it officially entered into force on New Year’s Day. According to the bill “No one shall be allowed to use state land for the construction of unauthorized lodging, camping or long-term shelters.”
This bill presents a challenge for Missouri’s homeless communities with off-limits public parks, bridges, overpasses and other national land. Those who violate the law will face a written warning upon first violation. Then you could face a $750 fine or Class C misdemeanor.
FOX 2 recently reached out to St. Louis city and county officials and authorities regarding their response to the new law.
The St. Louis Mayor’s Office on FOX 2…
“The St. Louis Department of Social Services remains committed to connecting homeless residents with permanent housing and wraparound services that support their needs. We will continue to monitor.”
St. Louis County Police on FOX 2…
“Regarding new laws and enforcement, our goal is to help the homeless find resources, not to arrest them. Enforcement is left up to individual municipalities/jurisdictions.
One of the provisions of the same law that prohibits lodging and camping on state land also prohibits cities and organizations from using state or federal grants to build permanent housing for the homeless. Instead, the money should be used to build temporary camps monitored by police and social workers who collect data on mental health and substance abuse.
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