Cincinnati Looking At Options To Deal With Third Street Homeless Camps

Jul 30, 2018
Originally published on August 2, 2018 12:05 pm

Cincinnati officials said Monday they are looking at options for how to respond to the homeless camps that remain along Third Street and another encampment underneath a highway overpass near U.S. Bank Arena.

Last week the city shutdown and cleared a camp near Paul Brown Stadium and fenced off the area so it can't return.

Police Captain Mike Neville told the Law and Public Safety Committee the department is looking for options for the tents along Third Street.

"Paying attention to the needs of those that are there and those in the surrounding area," Neville said. "Some individuals made their way over to the overpass near U.S. Bank Arena, which is an area that we've encountered in the past, of which we will be approaching and coming up with the ideal response in the very near future."

Acting City Manager Patrick Duhaney said the homeless camps are concerning and called them a multi-faceted problem.

"There's no way for us to really adequately plan for their safety, and contain any kind of health concerns," Duhaney said. "So it's just not a good thing for the city to have people living on the streets."

Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman said putting up tents on public streets also is not a good thing.

"That's not healthy, it's not a good thing for our city, it's not a good thing for the people who are doing it," Smitherman said. "I don't think we've had a clear message from City Hall this summer. I'm glad and honored to be back here to let you all know that you have my support."

Last week, some of the people living along Third Street held a press conference and said they don't plan to move anywhere.

Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition Executive Director Josh Spring called on elected officials to come up with "big solutions for a big problem."  

He said there needs to be more affordable housing in the city, and residents need more access to alcohol treatment, mental health services and help finding a job.

Before the homeless camp was cleared last week near Paul Brown Stadium the city gave residents 72-hour notice that it was going to happen.  That was extended after city leaders and some camp members held a meeting and agreed to a delay that lasted six days before the camp was cleared.


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