Tulsans Want Action Taken Against Homeless Engaging In Dangerous Behavior At River Parks

Sunday, August 7th 2016, 7:07 pm
By: News On 6

Brenda and Royce Stalter have lived near the River Parks for 22 years.

They say the development and improvement the city has done over the years has been wonderful.

But this summer, they say homeless people have been gathering there having sex, doing drugs, drinking and littering all within eyesight of the playground.

"It's not appropriate, not appropriate whatsoever," said Brenda.

Her husband Royce rides his bike in the area every morning. He gave News On 6 pictures that neighbors have been taking to document the problem. He said he constantly sees people sleeping on playground equipment and stated they also take over the public restrooms.

And to them, it's all too close to kids.

"That's my big concern,” said Royce. “And the trash, the kids have to look at the trash. Adults have to look at the trash too, and it's not pleasant. But for kids to walk into the restroom and somebody is sleeping in there and there is trash everywhere, that's just a bad deal." 

The problem is also on the doorstep of Elwood’s Cafe. 

Workers at Elwood’s told me off-camera they chase the homeless out from under the awning before they open for the day.

"Why do we have people sleeping in Elwood’s?" asked Brenda.

But for Brenda, the main issue is the playground just feet away.

"This is what I'm concerned about, right over here, is that playground,” said Brenda. “The kids, the kids."

She and Royce say their biggest fear is that children encounter the homeless doing something illegal or crude. And they are also concerned what the Gathering Place could turn into if the problems persist. 

"What is going to happen with the Gathering Place if they are allowed to do it here?" asked Brenda. 

Brenda and Royce reached out to the River Parks Authority for help and said officials with the River Parks Authority told them they are looking into addressing the issues.

News On 6 called the River Parks Authority and left a message, but their office is closed on Sunday.