New Missouri law bans homeless from sleeping on state-owned property

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KBSI)- The homeless community is now facing another challenge in the new year.

A new Missouri law signed last June went into effect on January 1.

The law makes it illegal for displaced persons to sleep or camp on state owned land, including bridges and over passes.

“Creating more laws is not addressing what is causing this issue in the first place. There are many other people who are trying to hang on and continue being a productive part of this community who are facing homelessness,” said Elizabeth Shelton of the United Way.

An issued warning to exit the area will be given first. A second instance will result in a Class C misdemeanor, which includes fifteen days in jail and a hefty $750 fine.

“But until we have a solution in place that addresses homelessness such as a shelter that provides the many wraps around services that address what lead to homelessness,” said Shelton.

While there are many organizations in the Cape Girardeau area that seek to help those in need, there are no homeless shelters for the displaced.

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