The worsening Kansas City homeless crisis sparks more conflict and the threat of another legal battle.
Here are the basics . . .
KANSAS CITY NORTHEAST LEADERS WARN 12TH & OAK THAT THEY'VE ORGANIZING A LEGAL CHALLENGE AGAINST THREAT OF A HOMELESS CAMP ON A TOXIC SITE!!!
Caveat . . .
What's important to understand is that nearby residents seem just as concerned for the safety of the homeless and potential health risks as they are worried about the impact of new camps on their community.
After a lengthy e-mail chain and documented warning of the homeless camping on or near a designated Brownfield site, community leaders were unimpressed with the response from the city manager's office.
Here's the 12th & Oak note . . .
We will only send case workers to perform outreach and kindly ask that they move as in the past. Unless there is a clear and present danger for being there we will wait until we have new housing options in the next couple of months before attempting a more permanent relocation.
City of Kansas City, MO
Over the weekend residents report that the dangerous camp site continues to grow.
There are now 20 homeless tents that now occupy the toxic location.
Now, here's the note that begins a Northeast Kansas City political battle . . .
After reading your response to the Columbus Park email regarding new homeless camps in our neighborhood, we have formed a group to seek legal action against the City. The group is comprised of myself John Strada, Mike Garozzo and Charlie Passantino.
Neither the City Manager's office nor Mayor Lucas have any regard for the safety of the homeless or for the community that surrounds this dangerous new camp site. We plan to seek an expedited hearing and our hope is that a judge will listen to our concerns.
In contrast to sparse communication from city hall, I felt obligated to inform you of our course of action. While I know this will fall on deaf, the city's neglect has forced us to remedy this situation through the court system.
Henry Rizzo resident of Columbus Park
Background . . .
For those who don't remember, Mr. Rizzo served in the Missouri State Legislature and as Chair of the Jackson County Legislature in a political career that spanned over 30 years. Mr. Passantino is local businessman with a distinguished legacy in Northeast that extends more than a century, Mike Garozzo's family operates one of the most beloved restaurants in all of Kansas City and John Strata is a former NFL pro and Chiefs veteran. Put simply, this is a group with great deal of respect and standing across the metro; Mayor Q and the new city manger have seemingly ignored their concerns and forced them into a legal fight.
Meanwhile . . .
The city's plan to convert vacant buildings into homeless housing is unlikely to fix this crisis currently underway as community outcry hits a crescendo.
Developing . . .