Burlington Plans To Take Down Homeless Encampment In South End

Oct 11, 2017

The city of Burlington says it has the "authority and the need" to disband a homeless encampment in the city.

The Burlington Police says allegations and reports of domestic violence, drug use, vandalism and arson are why the city decided the camp in the city's South End needs to be disbanded.

The Burlington Free Press reports there are six people at the camp.

Speaking on Vermont Edition Wednesday, Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger said the city has been in contact with the people living at camp.

“We have sent city staff to the site repeatedly to discuss the different housing options and other resources available to them in the community,” Weinberger said.

In a letter to Burlington officials last week, the American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont criticized the decision to close down the camp.

The ACLU says the action would violate the constitution rights of people living at there. 

“We were looking for Burlington to be the compassionate city that it claims to be, as well as a law abiding city and it seems they have chosen to go in a different direction,” said Jay Diaz, a staff attorney at the ACLU of Vermont.

Diaz said beyond the letter the ALCU is considering and exploring all options in response to the city’s planned actions.

The city plans to disband the encampment "no sooner than the end of this week."