ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Homeless individuals and advocacy groups are speaking out, following city orders to clear out an encampment on Loomis Street.

Different solutions, are what they’re asking for.

Advocates on Thursday are calling for overdose prevention centers, mental health services and an increase of naloxone distribution among the homeless.

They’re also calling for public restrooms and more funding and support for grassroots operations, supporting the homeless.

On the other hand, city officials say the encampments are a nuisance to surrounding neighbors, and safety concern – citing recent deaths and violence in the area. 

“These are our family members these are our friends, our brothers and sisters, get a look at them,” said Barbara Rivera, Housing Organizer with Citizen Action of New York.

Rivera says the past few days have been tumultuous for the homeless individuals living on Loomis Street.

“It’s like picking up your house when you’re getting evicted, and you just don’t know what’s going to happen and where to go,” said Rivera.

Many have since moved to Peace Village on Industrial Street, and other undisclosed locations, she said.

Rivera said these individuals have called Loomis street home for a long time, and people who try to go back, may be arrested.

In the meantime, advocates from Recovery All Ways, Citizen Action of New York and more are calling on elected officials for the assistance they say is needed.

“OPC’s are centers for safe consumption that are proven to reduce litter by 80 percent,” said Gary Harding, with Recovery All Ways (RAW). “We need low-barrier, high retention  on demand  treatment for everyone.”

County Executive Adam Bello says Monroe County is working hand-in-hand with the city, to provide services for those who need them.

But – he says they have to be ready, and willing to accept those.

“Our IMPACT team, which works in the field of opioid addiction, has been going into Loomis St., engaging with individuals, offering support services, trying to link them if they’re ready,” said Bello. “It worked earlier this year with the Civic Center Garage, trying to link people.”

Mayor Malik Evans says safety — is the top concern for everyone.

“Cleaning up the encampments are just a surface issue. The bigger issue is – we have to make sure we work intensively with these individuals who are extremely hard to place,” said Evans. “There have been people that have been robbed, people that have been shot, stabbed, and someone died and lost their life on Monday.”

We also asked the county executive about bed availability in local homeless shelters – because some advocates today say they’re concerned for a shortage of beds.

Bello says right now there is availability for people in need of housing, and should the shelters fill up in the winter months, officials will turn to hotel rooms as another option.

The IMPACT team he mentioned, is also available 24/7.

You can call the hotline at 753-5300.