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Homeless people can stay in Des Moines camps

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An administrative hearing officer says homeless people who appealed an eviction order may stay in their Des Moines camp.

In a ruling released Monday night, hearing officer Cassandra Webster says "the harm avoided is greater than the harm done."

Last month the city posted eviction notices at five makeshift campus set up by homeless people. City officials say complaints from the public about the homeless camps prompted the evictions. A city ordinance bars camping on public property.

An attorney for the campers, Charles Hill, said they had nowhere to go and no better alternatives.

Some of the camp residents said they felt safer and more secure in their camps than if they were stuffed into overcrowded shelters.

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