LTE: Rethink tent camps

This tent camp proposal makes me furious. Not because they are opening a camp because I totally support the idea, but because of where they are opening it.

Downtown didn’t want homeless people wandering through their streets several years ago and thus opened up the center on Paseo where they can eat and shower by getting that building donated by Zahner. Zahner saw it as a happy solution because they were breaking into his properties. They didn’t mind if they wandered through our streets or hung out in the median or hung out on the IA/Paseo intersection. Now they must be wandering downtown again and they want to once again dump them into HNE.

There is plenty of vacant land around downtown where they could build this.

But they know that HNE won’t mount a campaign against it so the city and downtown continue to dump the homeless on us. It then becomes our problem and that of the police to deal with the thefts and the defecation and the wandering that will take place in our neighborhoods during the day when they need cash for their drugs and alcohol.

It says they chose the site “because it is not located near a densely populated area”. What do they consider 34,000 people living across the Paseo from this? Are Scarritt and Pendleton going to respond or just let it happen? I imagine it will have the support of Eric Bunch and Melissa Robinson (neither of which bothered to give us a heads-up and it will be supported by the Salvation Army and all the organizations that have opposed every attempt we have made to protect our neighborhoods. Anybody remember the fights we took on for not having Leawood residents feeding the homeless? Anybody remember the fight we took on for not allowing panhandling that so negatively impacts HNE? Anybody remember that MoDot won’t address people on their property? Anybody remember the response we didn’t get related to the camping and dumping in Cliff Drive that was brought to their attention?

I am disappointed in Jared Campbell because every time he runs for office, he doesn’t hesitate to come to us for support and now he supports this.

Leslie Caplan
Northeast Resident

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