A safe move: City following up on homeless relocation

As of early Sunday afternoon, people were no longer staying under the I-14 overpass at Trimmier Road in Killeen.

Per city order, people who had been living under the I-14 overpass at Trimmier Road have as of early Sunday afternoon relocated from that location.

“The department received information about some possible unsanitary health conditions at the Trimmier underpass,” Killeen Police Department Spokesperson Ofelia Miramontez said by email on Saturday. “We coordinated with the Solid Waste Department for assistance in removal of the debris at that location. The individuals that had property at the underpass removed what belonged to them and what was left behind was to be destroyed. The Killeen Police Department respects all citizens no matter their situation or circumstance.”

As reported on Saturday, shopping carts full of blankets, bags and other gear were lined up near that intersection Friday after homeless people living under the nearby overpass said they were told by police to move out from under the overpass, some of whom were unsure as to where they would go next.

As of early afternoon Sunday, the area of the underpass was cleared of blankets, carts and other items that had previously been there.

Officer Kyle Moore is KPD’s homeless liaison, and a certified mental health officer. On Sunday he said that planning for this relocation had been underway, and was largely prompted by a fire which took place in that location prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moore said that once you have one person living in that location, in becomes increasing compacted, and added that a number of complaints had been filed by citizens.

“We’re still in the process of helping people out,” Moore said, adding that some of the people who had been living there have already been assisted.

Moore said that “layered issues” make helping the homeless a more complex issue - with problems such as substance abuse, mental illness or in some cases simply not being able to obtain an identification card.

He also said that although he is unsure what the City of Killeen’s official position on the issue is, it is his understanding that the issue may be put on the agenda at an upcoming city council meeting. He also stresses that the idea is NOT about moving people out of the area with no solution, but rather to guide them towards help and provide them with resources.

“People aren’t meant to live on the street - period,” Moore said.

For those who want to contribute to the Killeen homeless shelter, contact Maria Carmona, the shelter coordinator, at 254-245-8269.

swilson@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7463

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