Homeless being evicted from 'Tent City' - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Homeless being evicted from 'Tent City'

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Huntsville police and homeless advocates are scrambling to relocate dozens of people from "Tent City." Huntsville police and homeless advocates are scrambling to relocate dozens of people from "Tent City."
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Huntsville police and homeless advocates are scrambling to relocate dozens of people from "Tent City."

The homeless have been living underneath an Interstate 565 overpass on land owned by the Alabama Department of Transportation.

They've given the homeless until June 16 to get out of the area near Derrick Street. Huntsville police are taking an active role in trying to find these people homes.

On Thursday, they went around the camp to assess the situation and see who is ready to move before this June 16 deadline.

HPD and homeless advocates spent the morning collecting data and explaining to residents the predicament.

Some residents took the news well and others weren't pleased.

Homeless advocates and Huntsville police officers have made multiple trips out to Tent City in the last few weeks to let them know about ALDOT's decision.

Sergeant Mark Roberts said HPD is trying to make this transition as smooth as possible. He said HPD is more than interested in helping find residents basic assistance if they want it.

"Right now we have probably about 30 people that we're going to have to displace that we know," said Roberts. "Each one of those will have needs and we're going to try to access that and see if we can help them.

Homeless advocates are concerned as the deadline to leave grows closer.

The leader of Help Our Homeless Veterans & Homeless Citizens said some will listen to ALDOT's order, but he has concerns not everyone will follow along. Several of the homeless are protesting the order, even hanging signs.

"We're trying to find places where they're not going to be evicted every month and have to keep moving them around and around and around while we try to go through the system," said Rusty Loiselle, a homeless advocate.

Huntsville city leaders said they're not going to relocate everyone to an area where they're not wanted. They're looking into multiple sites and said they're doing everything they can in their power to help these people. They said it's a sensitive issue and something that they're not going to be able to solve overnight.

"We're not going to just pick them up and relocate them to another place," said John Hamilton. "That's inappropriate. In many cases, they will choose where they go. We aren't physically moving them. We're letting them know they have to move."

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