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Next Steps: Contractor scheduled to clean up 84th Street encampment Friday

'With it being an unsafe location that's another story, we had to act a little bit more quicker.'
Posted at 7:12 PM, May 29, 2024

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — On Tuesday a notice to vacate was posted and one day later it doesn't look much different.

Neighborhood reporter Molly Hudson looked into what the process is for this new city program, how it gets help to people and how fast areas will be cleaned.

Tents, clothes and other personal belongings are still here almost a week after Omaha homeless outreach coordinator Tamara Dwyer said it would be cleared and cleaned due to safety concerns.

But in the days since neighbors say the camp has only grown, prompting new questions about just how fast the city can intervene to connect people with services and clean-up these camps.

"Its been appreciably growing in the last couple years and what we have right now is definitely much worse than it was a week ago," said Terry Anderson, a Westgate neighbor.

Dwyer has told me in the past her priority is to connect people with help. Her work is part of a larger city initiative.

The city council just allocated money to contractors this spring to pay for the clean-up of camps like this.

Wednesday Hudson saw Dwyer meeting with one of those contractors to assess the area for clean up.

When we talked later on the phone she said that typically vacate notices go up after they know they have been connected to resources or have a housing plan.

"With this, with it being an unsafe location that's another story, we had to act a little bit more quicker."

Dwyer says one of the biggest she faces in this line of work, especially with just one other person on her team, is keeping people in one spot long enough to get them the help.

"When we have people moving around we have to start over a lot," Dwyer said. "We don't want anyone to experience unsheltered homelessness in Omaha but it's not a quick, there is not an immediate quick solution."

She says the contractor will be out on Friday to clean up and expects it to be cleaned the same day.