HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Right now dozens of homeless people are camping out under bridges, on private property and in the woods around our city.
This is the result of Tent City, the homeless camp under I-565, officially being shut down Monday.
The state Department of Transportation ordered the closure last year. The deadline was pushed back several times.
Tent City served as a place for Huntsville homeless for more than 20 years, so the department of transportation’s order to shut down the camp left the residents and volunteers reeling.
Advocate group volunteers have worked to find alternative housing, but they say now the problem with homelessness has just been spread out in our community. Advocates say this is making the job of keeping track of this vulnerable segment of the population a lot more challenging. The city of Huntsville is allowing about a dozen former tent city dwellers to camp on city property near the former camp, but those people must start the process of enrolling in long-term housing.
WHNT News 19 cameras found homeless camps set up near Veterans Memorial Park under bridges, along Holmes Avenue, and near Governors Drive.
Homeless advocate Rusty Loiselle says this is everyone’s problem and says it is not going away.
“We need to come up with a better solution because just moving these people to other campsites is not going to give us any different results than what we have seen before,” Loiselle says.