City of Jacksonville clears out homeless camp

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — On Tuesday, the homeless camp known as “Tent City” in downtown Jacksonville on Jefferson Street was cleared.

The site had grown over the past couple of weeks as word got out about resources available to help.

Action News Jax’s Alicia Tarancon was there as the city began removing tents and trash that had piled up.

One by one, people began packing up their clothing, food, and tents.

“A lot of these people are hurting, a lot of these people don’t want to go,” Linda Dayson said.

She’s been living on the streets for about a month.

Around 10 a.m., the city of Jacksonville’s sanitation department came in to begin cleaning.

The city told us it had been a health and safety issue.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office was also called, and the city placed a “no trespassing” sign outside the fence.

City Rescue Mission, along with several organizations and church groups, spent Tuesday helping people move to the temporary shelter located at the corner of Pearl and Ashley streets.

“It’s scary, we understand it’s traumatic. we understand that you’re hurt. You’re fearful, but at the same time it’s a part of the process, but it can be done; it’s doable,” Pastor Kimberley Pullings of Live Church said.

The temporary shelter is only open for 30 days but is supposed to have enough beds for 150 people.

Henry Winston has been staying in the encampment. He says that he saw the temporary shelter yesterday, and it didn’t have running water or air conditioning.

“There’s one shower, one toilet. Too many people,” said Winston.

Pastor Kimberley Pullings told Action News Jax the goal is to eventually find these people more permanent housing options.

“We understand that there’s a plan that we have to formulate, and that’s something that we’re all working collaboratively with the city to ensure that their voices are heard, and where they want to go is heard,” Pullings said.

The temporary shelter located on Ashley Street will be open seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

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