Jun 05, 2023

Death at Brittany Village Apartments puts spotlight on growing problem

Posted Jun 05, 2023 3:36 PM


St. Joseph Post 

A recent death of a person found inside a storage unit at the Brittany Village Apartments has put a spotlight on a growing homeless problem in St. Joseph. 

Interim Police Chief Dave Hart says the department receives feedback regarding homeless issues in the community, but there are no quick and easy answers to solve it. 

"Because we're not the only community facing this problem," Hart tells KFEQ Hotline host Barry Birr. "This has unfortunately become the norm nationally, where you have these huge influxes of homeless individuals in communities for a myriad of reasons." 

Hart says the department focuses on enforcement, when necessary, but it relies heavily on partnerships with organizations that provide services to the homeless. 

"They do a great job, they work very well with us in finding unique and outside of the box ways to help people and to try and get them out of the situation that they're in," Hart explains. "Where we struggle as a community is the people who refuse services." 

Hart says that's when you end up with people camping on the streets or in abandoned structures.  

Hart says rather than giving money to those begging on the streets, you should donate to these organizations instead. 

"That can get resources to these individuals, when you give to the people directly obviously you have no control over how that money is spent or what's going on, and when you give to these agencies they're able to invest that money in long term solutions to get people away from homelessness instead of continuing with the homeless lifestyle," Hart says. 

Hart says you also may never know which people asking for money may be telling the truth, stating some might drive in from other communities only to set up shop and beg from St. Joseph drivers. 

You can follow Matt on Twitter at @KfeqMatt or follow St. Joseph Post at @StJosephPost