Mission reaches out to homeless moved from downtown camp

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A week after the city made dozens of homeless people leave a camp underneath railroad tracks at the Davidson Street bridge, some have found a place to stay at shelters around the city.

"It's like Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra saying, 'I did it my way' and we're very much that way in the world today," said Robert Reeder, 61, who is homeless.

Reeder and 37-year-old Christopher Moore have chosen another way these days. For the past week, they've called Wheeler Mission their temporary home after the city cleared out the homeless camp where they were living.

"That's other people's property," Reeder said. "I was taught to respect that."

Some of those in the camp were arrested when they refused leave.

"I think it was the right thing to do," Moore said of the decision to come to Wheeler Mission.

According to Reeder and Moore, others from the camp made a different choice: to remain outdoors, just somewhere else.

"They could just move to another place and find another place where somebody wouldn't mind, you know? There's a lot of vacant lots and properties and river banks," said Reeder.

"Take out of the mix the mental health issues, some of the addiction issues, I think there are maybe a lot of people who want to make it on their own," said Steve Kerr with Wheeler Mission Ministries.

According to Kerr, help is here for the city's homeless if they want it. Kerr said they have room to house up to 150 men a night.

"There are places," said Kerr. "There are services in this community, more than ample services for every homeless person in our community,"

For Reeder and Moore though, it's a much bigger than having a place to stay.

"There's not enough jobs here," said Moore.

Both said its about finding a job that pays enough so they don't have to depend long-term on a shelter for help

"The unemployment's getting more and we're going into the winter," said Reeder. "Which is a tougher time."

A tougher time, which could bring more people indoors or not.

"You can't force them to come in," said Kerr.