‘Tent City’ Relocation Plans Seem Stalled

HUNTSVILLE, Ala (WHNT) – The stabbing of three people at the homeless camp in Huntsville earlier this week has brought Tent City back to the minds of officials. Tent City is an unofficial living community for the homeless.

Advocates for Huntsville’s homeless community feel state workers have them dangling in the wind. The Alabama Department of Transportation urged all who lived in Tent City to get out by January 1, 2014.

The homeless remain four months and plans seemed to have stalled.

“I don`t know what the date is now because the date was moved from January 1, 2014. So, I am not sure when or if. I am not sure when that will happen,” said First Stop Executive Director Tashaunda Weeks.

Weeks’ organization is one of many in the area aimed to help the homeless. She and others spent days working with the people who rest their heads at night in Tent City.

“We used to have jurisdiction on who could go there and who couldn`t go there. The Alabama Department of Transportation stated they were going to close it, so we had actually gotten a lot of those people moved out,” added Weeks.

ALDOT workers expressed concern about campfires damaging portions of the overpasses.

A count last Tuesday revealed 20 people remain in the Downtown Huntsville location.

“When the date changed, we kind of pulled back because there was a lot of outside influence going on,” added Weeks.

Three people, hurt in a recent stabbing there, are recovering. Police hope to find who did the cutting.

State workers have not communicated in months what’s going on with Tent City.

“We`re not trying to focus on that, but are focusing on getting them into housing,” added Weeks.

WHNT News 19 reached out to staff with the Alabama Department of Transportation to find out a new date to move out the homeless. One employee got back to us to say he was out-of-town and not able to interview. We will continue asking for the new date.

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