Stop the Sweeps: VOCAL-KY Condemns Louisville Encampment Sweeps in Preparation for Derby Season

CONTACT: Mariah McGough, // Shameka Parrish-Wright, 


People Impacted by Houselessness in Louisville Slam the Efforts to Forcibly Remove Louisvillians Without Addressing Root Causes of Housing Crisis

LOUISVILLE, K.Y. — In response to notification of relocation and encampment busting for unhoused individuals by Louisville’s Homelessness Task Force, VOCAL-KY and allies released the following statements:

“Dismantling encampments and removing people from the few belongings they have won’t solve Louisville’s houselessness crisis,” said Shameka Parrish-Wright, Director of VOCAL-KY. “It will merely force people to move to a new place for the sake of optics, when what they really need is wrap-around support. If we want to actually solve Louisville’s homelessness problem, the city must provide clear, accessible pathways to permanent housing. Anything less is just a move to benefit incoming Derby season tourists.”

“The cleaning and clearing process is very traumatizing,” said Christina Folsom, a leader with VOCAL-KY who has experienced homelessness in Louisville. “A lot of times we barely have enough time to get ourselves out with the notice they give. In the panic of the sweeps, I could barely get out of my own tent. And the people living with pets have an even worse experience, especially when everything you love and own is being threatened. They don’t supply a place for us to go, and they offer us no help.”

“The clearings are a disgrace and a waste of taxpayer money,” said Ryan Jacobs,, a leader with VOCAL-KY. “These are resources that should actually be used to find a solution to the city’s housing crisis, rather than covering it up.”

“Clearing camps and forcing out unhoused folks, in the name of ‘public health and safety’ is morally and ethically wrong, and flies in the face of all the evidence available about ‘public health and safety,” said Donny Greene of Feed Louisville. “The city of Louisville has and continues to further criminalize its poorest and most vulnerable populations.”