INVESTIGATES: Local man blames homeless for junk-filled yard

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A messy yard filled with junk has neighbors in Lakeshore begging for help to get it cleaned up as they claim it’s been collecting for years.

An Action News Jax investigation has learned Code Enforcement has visited the home in Lakeshore 24 times since 2017, 13 of which resulted in violations observed on the property.

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There are two active code enforcement cases against the property, and one of them classifies the property as a nuisance.

Terry Hagins lives in the house and agreed to an interview allowing Action News Jax on the property. He claims a majority of the random objects, from TVs to bathtubs, came from homeless people living in an area on their property.

He claims he made them leave last week after he found out about them.

“The homeless people was in the back, I never knew they were back there,” Hagins said.

However, much like the information from the City and Code Enforcement, neighbors tell Action News Jax this has been ongoing since 2017.

“It’s upsetting to see that every single day,” neighbor Amanda Richard said. “The last thing I see when I leave my neighborhood is that and the first thing when I come home I see that.”

The city told Action News Jax there’s also an administrative fine of $1,750.00 and two abatement liens of $957.52 and $1,137.11 against the property.

Our Law and Safety expert Dale Carson said while they have a right to their privacy, there are restrictions to abide by.

“They are entitled to have their own opinion until they begin to infringe on the freedoms of other people,” Carson said.

Carson says if you’re facing this problem, the first step is to pick up the phone and call the mayor’s office.

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Those who live there were outside picking up junk in the yard, taking it to a local junkyard; Hagins said they’ve brought three loads of junk just on Thursday alone.

He says that it will all be cleared out by August 29, which is the deadline given to him by the city.

“I can do it, it ain’t going to take long, what do I got to do? Just clean up the mess thats all,” he said.

While those who live there tell Action News Jax they are cleaning, the city said it is currently soliciting bids through their procurement process due to the scope of work involved on the property.

Carson said that means they’re going to do something if nothing is done about the junk, but the city will have to find someone to haul it all away.