Birmingham, Alabama has about 1,500 homeless people within the city limits. At times, they create a mess under viaducts, forcing the city to clean them up.
“There have been rumors of municipalities dropping people off at Linn Park, particularly homeless people, and I can tell you it is not a rumor. I’ve seen it myself,” said Don Lupo with the Office of Citizen’s Assistance.
Lupo said problems will increase by fall when Salvation Army moves out of downtown to a new location about three miles away. “That will leave only two emergency shelters: one for men and one for women,” Lupo said.
Birmingham Mayor William Bell, a Democrat, says there are many stories of the homeless being sent from outside of Jefferson County.
“We get anecdotal information, especially from individuals coming from other cities. They were given bus tickets in cities like Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga and were sent to Birmingham,” Bell said.
An official with the Mayor of Nashville’s office replied by saying, “I can’t speak for the Mayor of Birmingham and what he is referring to.”
The City of Memphis officials were not pleased when made aware of the accusations. “It’s disturbing that an elected official would make baseless claims about another municipality,” said Ursula Madden, Chief Communications Officer for the City of Memphis.
Multiple requests for comment were left for Mayor William Bell and The Office of Citizens Assistance Director Don Lupo, but no responses were received in time for publication.