Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Homeless Belongings Identification

St. Louis, as reported by the St. Louis Post Dispatch, is using a new policy to help the homeless identify their property, often carted away as trash.

An excerpt.

“ST. LOUIS -- The unattended possessions of the homeless will still be picked up during routine city park cleanups, but now at least, they’ll have a way to get them back.

“St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay unveiled a new policy on Friday where city workers would give the homeless identification tags along with silver bags for their stuff. If the parks department employees find unattended property with the new tags during cleanups, they will no longer simply throw it away, but bring it to a storage facility where it can be retrieved.

“During an incident last year, the city parks department confiscated and tossed the belongings of two homeless men in a dump truck. Some of the men’s medication was destroyed during the incident that occurred at Interco Plaza at the corner of Dr. Martin Luther King Drive and Tucker Boulevard.

"That simply can not happen again," said Slay, who held a news conference at Interco Plaza. "The city of St. Louis, specifically downtown, has the largest amount of homeless services in the St. Louis area. Homeless people come from all over the St. Louis area into downtown to get service."

“The new plan, Slay said, would help keep the homeless residents safe as well as keep the city clean, but it also does something else. It gives city another "important point of contact to some of our more vulnerable citizens."