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City of Topeka conducts another cleanup operation in homeless camp

Published: May. 11, 2022 at 4:41 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A group of homeless people were temporarily moved as the City of Topeka conducts another cleanup.

Crews are cleaning an area south of NE Curtis St., a little further from the Rescue Mission than a similar operation conducted last month. The city says these operations are meant to maintain public health and safety; and that the displaced residents will be able to return once they are done.

“City of Topeka entities are partnering together to conduct a four-day clean-up and sanitization of City property,” City Spokesperson Gretchen Spiker said. “The clean-up is taking place Tuesday, May 10, through Friday, May 13, in areas east of the Kansas Ave. Bridge, and north of the Kansas River. With public health and safety being the purpose of the clean-up, the unsheltered homeless who are staying on City property are temporarily being vacated. They will be able to return after the clean-up is complete, on May 13 after 5:00 p.m.”

Topeka Rescue Mission says it’s doing its best to help the homeless while respecting the city’s operation.

“These are their homes, whether people agree with that or not, it is something they are proud of,” TRM Director La Manda Broyles said. “It is security and shelter that they have built. We know cleanup has to happen, but we also want to be very empathetic to realize that it would be the equivalent of somebody coming into our homes and doing cleanup. That can be hurtful.”

TRM took the opportunity to help their neighbors to showers, food, and some new clothes.

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