Even more homeless than they were before
“We’ve been told we can’t put a tent up nowhere in this city for six months or they will come back and arrest us again,” said Gary, 48, an Army veteran (right).
Said 31-year-old David: “We’re looking for other alternatives.”
After the Kansas City cops evicted them from their encampment hard by the freeway ramp, David Strobl and Gary R. were even more homeless than they were before.
Survival gear, personal mementos — every bit of it gone.
Arrested for camping illegally, they lost almost everything they owned while in jail for, essentially, the crime of being homeless.
Gary’s birth certificate and military discharge papers. The few family keepsakes that David cherished.
“I lost my mother’s wedding ring,” he said. “My baby book, the only pictures I had left of my mother. I pleaded with them the night they arrested us to let us get some of our valuables, if you’re going to come back and destroy the camp. But they said it was too late. We couldn’t take nothing except for what we had in our pockets.”
The story that Gary and David tell is by no means unique in Kansas City. From coast to coast, authorities routinely show little respect for the property rights of a growing chronically homeless population.
Read the Kansas City Star report here.