Tent City Cleanup

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – The last of the residents living in the tent city off 11th street have now moved out.

Crews from Chattanooga Public Works moved in to clean up trash and remove tents on east 11th street where 130 homeless people were living.

That city-owned property was recently discovered to be contaminated with industrial waste.

The City of Chattanooga gave the Community Kitchen a $15,000 grant to open their shelter for those people who were living there.

They can stay for two weeks while they’re put on the fast track for housing with the Chattanooga Housing Authority.

Community Kitchen COO Jimmy Turner says “Right now we’re open for shelter, and that’s been able to provide help for about sixty or so people who are using that on a nightly basis, that mostly came to us from the tent city situation. Out of that we found out yesterday that at least eight people have already been approved for housing though public housing, and another nineteen are going later this week for a hearing to see if they’re going to be able to get housing as well.”

Normally, those with outstanding debt, or felony convictions are not eligible for placement though the Housing Authority, but an appeals process is in place that can make exceptions.

Kerry Hayes with City of Chattanooga says “We have been in the process over the past few weeks of letting people know that we need to start moving them out, and so we’ve been doing that gradually over the past couple of weeks and today, we are securing the property with a fence that will have prominent no trespassing signs posted, and what’s happening right now is our Public Works crews are doing the sort of final stages of making sure the property is clear before we do that.”

Other options exist as well, but the funds for using the Community Kitchen as a shelter run out at the end of next week.

Turner adds “We’ve been working though our programs to also help people find housing, and we’re making progress there.”

These are not the only people living on public property but the city is looking to get them in public housing also.

Categories: Chattanooga, Local News

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