Bus stop shelter removed after becoming man's home - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Bus stop shelter removed after becoming man's home

Beechmont residents are unhappy that the shelter was removed form the TARC stop at 3rd Street and Kingston Avenue. (Source: Kasey Cunningham/WAVE 3 News) Beechmont residents are unhappy that the shelter was removed form the TARC stop at 3rd Street and Kingston Avenue. (Source: Kasey Cunningham/WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE 3) - A bus stop shelter in the Beechmont neighborhood turned into a permanent home for one man, and now it's gone.

Neighbors tell WAVE 3 News the man had turned the shelter into his own space, bundled in blankets when it was cold, or posted up shielding himself from Louisville's sweltering summer.

Interactions with the man are different, depending on who you ask; some said he kept to himself, others said he had violent spells that involved throwing urine at people waiting for the TARC bus. 

Complaints about the man have been building for weeks, according to TARC.

Doris Baniel is walking to find another bus stop, because now there's no shelter at the stop on South 3rd Street and Kingston Avenue.

"Well, I come out here quite often and I've been use to it," Baniel said. "Then I come today from the doctor, I have no where to sit down."

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Baniel is aware of the shelter's resident, but said it shouldn't matter.

"You know, you can't punish everybody for one person," Baniel said. 

A statement from TARC said they've removed the bus stop shelter, and there aren't any plans to replace it. 

TARC said they've worked with several agencies to find help for the man, but are at a loss after he refused the help. 

TARC has received ongoing complaints for at least the past several weeks relating to the shelter. TARC has reached out to social service agencies and law enforcement and it is our understanding the gentleman declined services. TARC security officers have also tried to provide assistance. The situation became a public safety issue and TARC exhausted known alternatives available to us. The shelter was removed earlier this month and there are no plans to replace it. TARC is willing to work with anyone who could provide a solution. TARC has worked with social service agencies in the past and we will continue to do so. We were not able to find a solution in this case.

Residents are now wondering where the man went. Some said he found a new home at another bus stop a few blocks up 3rd Street. Baniel is hoping that one isn't removed too. "I wish they would do something and put it back" he said.

Councilman Dan Johnson, District 21, said he also exhausted all of the city's options.

My office became aware of this unfortunate situation several months ago through many complaints from the neighborhood. We worked with TARC, LMPD, and several service organizations to provide helpful assistance to the man living in the bus shelter, however he declined all offers for assistance. Ultimately, the risks to public health and safety are the highest priorities and TARC removed the bus shelter to be cleaned, refurbished, and reinstalled in the coming months.

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