Earlier this week, the residents at Charlotte’s ‘Tent City’ were told they’d have to leave out of the area in uptown Charlotte in 72 hours. That date is today, February 19.
Some 150 residents are moving into hotels Mecklenburg County and several community partners have provided. They were forced to leave the North End Encampment because of a number of health concerns including rats, the cold and trash pile up.
The County issued an abatement order that required residents of ‘Tent City’ to vacate the area and property owners to clean it up in 72 hours.
In addition to housing, ‘Tent City’ residents will also receive transportation, meals, laundry and security services. COVID-19 testing will also be provided as individuals leave the encampment site. COVID-19 vaccines will be offered to those ages 65 and up.
County officials are working to expand existing shelter capacity, too. County Commissioner Leigh Altman says they’re not trying to force people out, but want to help them. She says they are addressing the public health issue. And they won’t be alone. Grassroots organizations like Hope Vibes are working as well. They are addressing immediate needs like luggage and moving.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s Police Chief Johnny Jennings says his department will work with the county on enforcing any criminal violations passed the abatement order (after 5pm Friday). Jennings says he agrees this is a public health concern and police will not criminalize homelessness.