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Tent City closed for good, homeless moved to temporary housing and shelters

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Tent City, the homeless camp under I-565,  has officially been shut down.

The state Department of Transportation ordered the closure last year. The deadline was pushed back several times.

On Friday, there were still 15 to 20 people still living under the overpass, but by Monday afternoon they were all moved out, leaving behind only empty tents and abandoned belongings.

Advocate group volunteers drove back and forth from the camp throughout Monday morning, ensuring no one was left behind under the overpass, and taking them to shelters, apartments, or even new campsites.

“We have been getting them with our organization and other organizations to get them apartments, get them off the streets,” said Sandra Childress, Vice President of Operation Stand Down.

Still Serving Veterans and Priority Veterans also helped find and fund housing for the 10 homeless veterans living under the overpass.

Tent City has 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.

“I think it`s ridiculous there should not be a reason why if there`s somebody who`s homeless can`t stay at places like this,” Childress fumed. “They aren`t hurting nobody. They`re away from the main streets.”

Huntsville Police stopped by the campsite Monday morning to oversee the move. Sergeant Mark Roberts tells WHNT News 19 the Department of Transportation will be back later Monday afternoon to lock the gates surrounding the campsite.


  • RJ Beejayar

    Ms. Childress, if you’d be as accomodating with your own backyard as you are being with property that does not belong to you, perhaps the people who are being displaced might thrive.

    • Sandra childress

      I am President of operation stand down Huntsville RJ. The city agreed years ago for them to stay there not me. As for them to stay in my back yard I have had them living in my home my yard. And I have helped them get jobs, housing food, anything they need. They know me by face and name. They know I will give them my shirt off my back because I have. I would love for you to walk a mile in their shoes just one mile see what they have to deal with. Let them live in your back yard. For I will.
      Thank you
      Sandra Childress
      No Veteran left behind

  • Sandra Summerford

    This breaks my heart! I live in Henagar, AL and have been to tent City many times to take those folks Food, Blankets, Clothes etc and just visit with them. They were always very nice and very appreciative of any and everything we took to them. They are human just like the rest of us even though most of society doesn’t see it that way. We all have one Creator and that is GOD. We are supposed to help those in need, not kick them when they’re down. I wish I had the funds to build each of these folks a an apartment! Heavenly Father, i ask that You provide for each of the awesome Creations of yours and keep them safe from harm. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

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