Authorities clean under overpasses, work to move homeless

Authorities clean under overpasses, work to move homeless into shelters

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Michigan State Police assisted Detroit Police and other organizations Wednesday to clean up underneath overpasses. They cleared out chairs, blankets and mattresses among other objects that gave clear indication the structure also serves as a make-shift camp for those without a home. The debris from the camps falls onto the freeway and causes problems for drivers, police say.

Workers also attempted to relocate the homeless to shelters, but as they explain, that is no easy task. The overpass camps were empty and, of the homeless officers did encounter, not one person agreed to the offer.

Risarg Huff tells Fox 2's Alexis Wiley he isn't surprised. He's the director of homeless services for the Neighborhood Services Organization. He tells Wiley help gets rejected often. "13, 20 times we've had people go out and try to encounter these folks before they will agree to come in." On the reason why help is turned down, Huff explains, "They tried working with a mental health system and they felt that it failed them. They tried working with a substance abuse system and they felt that it failed them. We go out to try to build a relationship, establish a report, and let them know what we're not going to fail them. We're going to help them."

The Neighborhood Services Organization staff works with more than 1,100 people every year by helping them find housing and tackle issues like drug abuse and mental illness. For more information on the Neighborhood Service Organization, click here.


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