Police clear homeless camp on private property
CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Chattanooga police closed a homeless camp on Workman Road this morning and left some residents of the camp wondering where to go.
According to Chattanooga police information officer Sgt. Jeremy Eames, the people who lived in that camp on Workman road had been warned several times that the property is going to be developed…and that they would have to leave.
That news was not easy to take for people who had been living there for months.
Camp resident Shannon Sullivan says “I lost my home in a fire 3 years ago and I’ve been out here ever since. These people took me and my son in. We had nobody and they took us in. And now no notice, no nothing and they just come in an told us to get out…they’re bulldozing it..we couldn’t take no belonging..nothing.”
There are rezoning signs on that lot that notified the residents that it would be cleared.
As police were escorting people from the camp, construction crews were clearing trees and brush from the area.
Sgt. Eames said the warning signs put up by the Walter A. Woods company, the owner, were torn down.
He said police were called when the campers refused to leave.
Shannon Sullivan says its hard to get back into a house.
“No jobs, its Rossville Boulevard..there’s no jobs here, there’s nothing.”
But she, and other the people living in that camp are not literally left out in the cold.
Kimberly George with the Union Gospel Mission says “Once we found out that this camp was being displaced and dismantled, we knew that we had to jump into action. The union gospel Mission has a half dozen beds that are available immediately. We’re letting those know who might need shelter that this is available. But we can only do it with the community’s support.”
Sgt. Eames says closing the homeless camp is not part of any campaign to shut down others around the city.
How many people lived there and how many will take the offer of shelter at the Rescue Mission is still to be determined.