South Omaha neighborhood frustrated over homeless encampment

Neighbors in one section of South Omaha are worried about a homeless camp -- especially its proximity to Omaha South High School.
Published: May. 17, 2023 at 6:07 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - In a South Omaha neighborhood, many residents are frustrated about a homeless encampment that’s taken over private property near 22nd and L.

That property is located just across from Omaha South High School. Resident Victoria Casebeer says she witnessed a disgusting act and is fed up.

“It’s just one thing or another,” Casebeer said. “You have somebody spreading their stuff out all over the sidewalk, hanging out in the tree, maybe using the restroom.”

Casebeer drives by the intersection every day to drop her daughter off at school. She lives just a block away.

“One time we were driving by and somebody was defecating on the sidewalk,” Casebeer said.

However, this isn’t the only thing she sees. She notices piles of empty bottles, furniture, and discarded food every day. She also has been told some of the people living on the property have been knocking on neighbors’ doors.

”It’s not only South Omaha, it’s downtown Omaha, North Omaha, and you don’t see many homeless people in West Omaha,” Casebeer said.

6 News reached out to the city homeless coordinator, Tamara Dwyer. She told us she’s been keeping an eye on the property for weeks.

“I’ve been in process with outreach, connecting with folks and locating people who are staying here,” Dwyer said.

Dwyer believes it’s become a common issue in the metro for people to camp in city-owned and private properties -- an issue she’s working to resolve.

“My next steps would be to give code enforcement to send a letter to the property owner or connect with the owner myself,” Dwyer said.

She’s working to clean up this area and find a place people staying there can call home.

“I’m working on strengthening processes in the city to work collaboratively and respond to these situations quickly,” she said.

The city is currently locating everyone staying on the property. Dwyer talked to those who were there to clean up their items and waste. She says it will take time to clean the area up.