LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Advocates for Lansing’s homeless community and city organizers supporting the Kringle Holiday market shared ideas to better help those who call Reutter Park home on Tuesday.
The Kringle Market was created to bring holiday cheer to downtown Lansing with vendor sheds, ice skating and warming stations. Yet people who serve the community and those experiencing homeless said they hope to see the start of a concrete plan to help those spending the night out in the cold.
SEE MORE: Kringle Holiday Market to open in downtown Lansing
“These homeless people are out here every single day so it’s like for them to build houses in the park where they are every single day that has heat and everything else and they can’t do anything for the homeless that are outside every single day but you can do that for one holiday? That’s kind of a slap in the face if you ask me,” said Giovanni Lashawn.
Lashawn said he used to be homeless and said he agrees with the concerns advocates have over the holiday market at Reutter Park.
SEE MORE: New Lansing market raises concerns for homeless population
Michael Karl with non-profit Cardboard Prophets said he and other advocates got a chance to express their concerns to heads of Lansing Parks and Recreation, Downtown Lansing Inc. and other offices.
“We are putting huts in front of people who have nothing,” Karl said. “If there were people getting housed, we wouldn’t be having this conversation today”.
Brett Kashinske is the city’s parks director and said the park’s location near city services, buildings and bus routes makes it a good spot to host the market. He says his department is open to the idea of both bringing help to the park as well as organizing events there to draw in the community.
“There were talks about some of the amenities that were there and how they can be used for other programs and services. We’re always looking to again, to be that department that serves all of Lansing’s citizens,” said Kaschinske.
Back at Reutter Park, Lewis Hill said he’ll be spending another night in the cold. He hopes these talks lead to a plan that could lead to housing people like him.
“It’s good they come out here and feed these people food. But it’s like going into your refrigerator and pulling out a frozen ham, and saying eat. We have nowhere to heat it, we have nowhere to store it,” said Hill.