Quantcast

City prepares to pack-up Tent City; some residents stay put - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

City prepares to pack-up Tent City; some residents stay put

Picture taken on March 28. (Source: Live 5) Picture taken on March 28. (Source: Live 5)
Picture taken on March 28 showing the remains of Tent City. (Source: Live 5) Picture taken on March 28 showing the remains of Tent City. (Source: Live 5)
Source: Live 5 Source: Live 5
First part of a flyer that is being handed out. First part of a flyer that is being handed out.
First part of a flyer that is being handed out. First part of a flyer that is being handed out.
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

According to city of Charleston officials, Tent City residents have until April 9 to move off the property. 

The city and its partners will begin moving remaining residents to the new facility April 4. They expect the move-out process will take 5 days.

Transitional housing will be provided at the work camp facility on Leeds Avenue.

As part of the moving process, City of Charleston workers handed out fliers to people in Tent City Monday. 

At that time, 43 were still living in Tent City. In February, there were 115 people living there. 

While some like to see the change, others are frustrated. 

"We're arguing about homeless people and we've lost site of what America really is," Easton Dennis said. "Instead of helping people, now we want to argue about the very thing that should come natural, which is sticking a hand out and helping."

22-year-old Dennis describes himself as a hitchhiker who's set up camp in Tent City for the last few weeks.

"I wanted to be able to say I went coast to coast," Dennis said. "So, I went Atlanta to L.A. L.A. to Charleston. And, when I got here to Charleston, I met the people under the bridge."

That's when Dennis said he fell in love in Charleston, Tent City and the people there.

But, the mandate to leave has him worried for the people he now calls family.

"My friend Joe, he literally got a job today," Dennis said. "So right here, he's not bothering anybody and he can walk to work." 

Dennis said the city is breaking up a community by forcing everyone to leave.

Meanwhile, the City of Charleston has given the residents 60 days notice to get off. 

Meanwhile, Dennis said he's going to stick it out at Tent City until he's forced to leave. 

"I don't know, I might hitchhike again," Dennis said. "I might go back to Atlanta."

The city released the following statement regarding the transitional housing: 

"The City of Charleston and homeless service providers have been working diligently for the past 60 days to assist individuals in tent city with alternative housing options, as the population of tent city has shrunk from 115 individuals to 43 as of today," city officials said."The city has now arranged to provide transitional housing for all remaining residents of tent city, as more permanent housing solutions are sought."

These fliers were being disseminated to residents of tent city.

The process of moving residents of tent city to the new facility will begin on Monday, April 4, 2016 and will occur in phases over a five day period, based on groupings of tents in tent city. Transportation will be provided by the city and its partners. Those who do not want to move to transitional housing must make other living arrangements. After the move, no one will be allowed to remain on SCDOT property.

The city has entered into an agreement with Charleston County to use the existing Work Camp facility on Leeds Avenue as a temporary transitional housing center. The center is a short walk to CARTA bus stops, and bus passes will be provided to transitional housing residents. During their time in transitional housing, residents will receive three meals a day and have access to basic facilities, including showers, laundry facilities and restrooms. Beds and personal care items will be provided.

Services at the center will be offered by existing service providers and will include help identifying permanent housing, referrals for employment, non-criminal legal services and relocation and reunification services for those wishing to return to family or friends located in another city.

Copyright 2016 WCSC. All rights reserved. 

Powered by Frankly