The city’s public works department swept a tent camp on the southwest corner of Independence and Paseo at the Royale Inn site Friday afternoon. After repeated warnings and a slew of opportunities from a number of relief agencies earlier this week to offer services, people occupying a homeless encampment on public property have been moved from the property.
There have been numerous complaints from citizens regarding criminal activity in the camp over the past month or so. In addition, nearby businesses and community organizations had expressed concern for the safety of their customers and employees.
Almost like the right time, as we walked past a tent to speak with one of the displaced people, a man inside the tent shouted at us to “get away from the tent (expletive deleted). As the camera occupant approached us and attempted to converse with us, the man quickly emerged from the tent with a machete in each hand and aggressively marched towards us, muttering intelligibly. The female person we were going to speak with turned and addressed the individual who stopped short but still maintained an intense gaze with us as we slowly walked away from the situation.
This follows last night’s machete fight at Windsor Avenue and Gladstone Blvd. between two homeless people. The victim of this conflict was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The suspect is still at large.
A Public Works worker at the scene said on Tuesday this week around 18 homeless agencies were at the camp site, providing services to people who wanted to get off the streets. Warnings were also given of the impending sweep of the camp. While a number of people decided to leave the camp and go elsewhere, a majority stayed until the bitter end.
Some of those displaced simply picked up their belongings and tents and moved to a public sidewalk on Admiral Boulevard next to Hope Faith Ministries.
A Hope Faith social worker named Gabe defended the illegal encampment blocking the public sidewalk and blamed the city for not enforcing the law. We attempted to contact Hope Faith, but the voicemail we were directed to was full and not allowing us to leave a message.
“They’re not criminals, they need a place to stay,” he said. “They go where they can find a place.”
Hope Faith recently pulled out of a city-run homelessness project, citing lack of funds for comprehensive homeless services in the city. Delete reply…
We asked Public Works officials at the scene about the Admiral Boulevard camp blocking a public sidewalk and the Belvedere Park camp. They deferred to the Parks Department, which recently began placing new signage along area boulevards and parks citing park hours and the city’s ordinance that prohibits camping on the streets. public properties.
No word on when Belvidere Park Camp and Admiral Boulevard Sidewalk Camp would be discussed