First of several community cleanup days for camps, other public places coming up this weekend
photo by: contributed
Several community cleanup days are coming up where neighborhood residents, volunteers and those experiencing homelessness will be working together to clean up areas where people have been camping and other public spaces. The public is invited to join the volunteers.
Lawrence resident and advocate Kevin Elliott is coordinating the cleanup days over the next couple of months, with the first two coming up this weekend. Elliott said he is working with multiple neighborhood organizations, camps for the unhoused and community organizations to coordinate the cleanup days. He said the Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department is providing trash bags, gloves, trash sticks, wheelbarrows, dumpsters and water.
Elliott said residents from the camp near the Amtrak station and Sandra Shaw Park are major partners in the community cleanup. The cleanup days in North Lawrence and Brook Creek are not focused on areas with active camps. He said that unhoused people will be cleaning up their own areas and volunteers will be cleaning up surrounding areas and other public spaces in the vicinity. He said that no unhoused people will be disrupted, relocated or have their camps encroached on by outsiders as part of the cleanup.
“They have requested the dignity and respect to claim responsibility for cleaning their own spaces, and will join the communities in cleaning up surrounding areas together,” Elliott said via email. “This is a respectful, inclusive, trauma informed event.”
So far, Elliott said East Lawrence, Pinkney and Brook Creek Neighborhood associations are participating in cleanups, and that he is currently working with additional neighborhoods regarding future cleanup sites and dates. Those confirmed so far are as follows:
• Saturday, May 20, 1-4 p.m., East Lawrence, along the river at the Amtrak Depot
• Sunday, May 21, 1-4 p.m., Pinkney Neighborhood, Sandra Shaw Community Health Park
• Saturday, June 3, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Brook Creek Neighborhood, Burroughs Creek 12th to 15th streets
• Saturday, June 17, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., North Lawrence, levee at Eighth Street boat ramp
Elliott said where cleanup groups are working with camps, the neighborhood is providing a community meal. He said in East Lawrence and Brook Creek, the Sunrise Project is collaborating with the neighborhood organizations. For more information, the public may contact the participating neighborhood organizations or reach out to Elliott at 785-505-0039.