Homeless must leave their tent city this weekend

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – People living in that make-shift tent city on 11th street will have to find another place to live.

About a hundred of the city’s homeless will stay at the Community Kitchen until other arrangements are made.

The soil they are living on now is contaminated.

A few weeks ago the city of Chattanooga was made aware that property it owns, is contaminated with industrial waste.

At present, about a hundred homeless people have set up tents there.

But, those people must vacate that property by the end of this weekend.

And several local agencies are pitching in to make that transition easier.

Jens Christensen says “The Housing Authority to my understanding, is prioritizing them because of this displacement, so they’re putting them on a faster track to housing, and so they’ll probably be able to house many during that period, there will be some that for whatever reason don’t qualify. ”

The Community Kitchen will be serving as a shelter for the homeless people to stay for the next two weeks.

“Of course, the two fundamental problems that we come down to and the reason this tent city is existing anyway, is the lack of adequate shelter here in Chattanooga we just don’t have enough shelter beds for the number of people who experience homelessness on a regular basis, and then the other is lack of affordable housing.”

The city of Chattanooga is there to help with the paperwork.

Chattanooga’s Homeless Coordinator, Sam Wolfe, says “And today we’re filling out applications for housing, for people that – anyone that wants it. We’re also trying to provide information to every single person that’s out here.  I came back here several times this past week, just to talk with people, let them know what’s going on and now we have some tents set up we’re trying to get every single person that’s walking by.”

Those tents that were provided by the city and private groups, will be coming down starting tomorrow. Volunteers are needed to help.

Christensen adds “With all the partners that are involved, we’re looking for a lot of opportunities and we’re looking at some solutions, so I do have hope that we will be able to house a number of people.”

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Local News

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