St. Louis (KSDK) -- St. Louis City leaders are kicking off a new effort to combat the homeless problem in downtown St. Louis.
The city says it wants to get homeless people off the streets and into housing, and they are going to do it by bringing in resources and also shutting down the area where people are living along Locust and St. Charles, near the New Life Evangelistic Center.
The city will focus on this stretch of Locust Street to increase public safety and public health, by cleaning it up and adding special enforcement.
The city wants Crisis Nursery and The St. Patrick's Center to help get the homeless off the streets, but also to conduct medical tests and offer help.
Starting Wednesday, officials will be out in full force to provide access to services, food and shelter.
On Friday, the city will close the streets off, so they can clean, because right now, the Department of Human Services said it's unsanitary. The streets will be closed off to people for an indefinite amount of time.
"While this is in public eye for three days, the city will come out trying to look good, but a month from now it's going to be business as usual," said Rev. Larry Rice of the New Life Evangelistic Center. "They may not be sleeping out there but they are going to be sleeping somewhere people have to sleep somewhere."
"We do have to take some measures and just say this is not a place that's suitable for anybody," said Bill Siedoff of the Department of Human Services. "You know to live and certainly not just in consideration of their needs but the neighbors needs as well."