Lincoln officials defend removal of homeless encampment

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Officials in Lincoln are defending their actions to remove a homeless encampment that had been set up in a wooded area.

City officials say concerns from residents nearby prompted an investigation by Lincoln Fire and Rescue and the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department. Jon Carlson, the mayor’s deputy chief of staff, told the Lincoln Journal Star that conditions were found to be dangerous for those who were living there.

Carlson said dead trees, dry brush, wood, grills, propane tanks and gas cans created a fire threat. Health officials also determined conditions were unsanitary.

But some homeless advocates said it was unjust to demolish a community people made for themselves. About 20 people attended a protest and sought to raise donations to help those affected by the demolition.