Homeless camp near Haymarket cleared out, belongings thrown away

LINCOLN, Neb.--Lincoln city officials dispersed a homeless camp near Haymarket Park, saying it was not up to health and safety standards. This comes after the city received several calls and complaints about the area. 

From piles of trash, clothing, to old tents, everything was discarded at the camp Wednesday. 

“It’s ugly,” Just Staffing worker Bobby Jones told news partner 10/11 Now. “It just makes this part of Lincoln look trashy.”

Among the volunteers were people who have lived at shelters in the Lincoln area. They urge Lincoln's homeless to seek out shelters as the safer option. 

“I stayed in the mission,” Jones said. “The mission isn’t a bad place. For me, they helped me get an apartment. I have never slept outside in my life.”

The city says it is working directly with the Matt Talbot Kitchen and Outreach to provide the homeless here with living arrangements. 

Other parties were far more critical of the decision to move the homeless and dispose of their belongings.

Lincoln nonprofit 1humanrace said in a Facebook post that many of the people staying in the camp had been turned away from the Lincoln Mission and other shelters due to mental health reasons.

"We're currently in scramble mode to help those who fallen through the cracks," the organization said. "These are humans."