Iowa homeless group fights for right to stay in their camp

Posted on: 12:45 pm, January 31, 2013, by

Some Des Moines homeless people are fighting the city’s efforts to evict them from camps on city-owned land.

City officials say they’ve received multiple complaints from residents who don’t feel safe or comfortable using pedestrian and bicycle trails with homeless camps nearby.

That includes Eric Randall, who says he isn’t homeless.  His home is a sandy spot under the MLK bridge in Des Moines, where he has set up tents, gas heaters and his personal belongings over the past year.  Randall says he has removed abandoned trash and brush to clean up the area around where he lives.

“We’re here to be left alone and we mind our own business,” Randall said.

Now they’re faced with eviction notices posted at the camps by the City of Des Moines, ordering them to be gone by January 30, 2013.

WHO-TV reports Randall says he, and others, plan to appeal the city’s decision to evict them from their camps.  The appeals hearings were scheduled for Thursday, January 31.  If the city prevails, they promised to help find the residents another place to live.