Fort Worth Evicting Tent City - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Fort Worth Evicting Tent City



    The city of Fort Worth is ordering dozens of homeless people to move out of a makeshift camp, but some don't want to leave.

    Several dozen tents are erected on a hilltop near East Lancaster Avenue and Riverside Drive overlooking Fort Worth.

    Some people have been living in the "tent city" for months and said they don't understand why the city is now insisting they leave.

    "Everybody's minding their own business," Patricia Elkins said. "I'm in my own little world, my own little spot, so I don't go messing with anybody else's spot."

    Homeless Told to Find New Home

    [DFW] Homeless Told to Find New Home
    Homeless people who set up a makeshift camp on private property near Riverside and Lancaster in Fort Worth have been told to pack up and move.
    (Published Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011)

    "We're not hurting anybody here," Aaron Brown said. "Like I said, it's a tight little buddy-buddy system here; everybody knows everybody."

    City officials said the property owner does not want them on the private property. The city also said the open fires and human waste from so many people are dangerous for the people living in camp and for their neighbors.

    "The bottom line is, they never should have been there in the first place because it's not their property, and all the good intentions of the community are much appreciated, but they need to go," said Brandon Bennett, Fort Worth Code Compliance director.

    City officials said the camp thrives because churches and volunteers provide food and supplies.

    "They're people," donor Shannon Ramey said. "You don't know their story. There's no telling where they've come from and what their life's been like. We all, you know, are blessed, really, so I feel like we should help them."

    Everyone has his or her own story about how he or she ended up at the tent city.

    "I came here for a summer vacation and retreat, and it's been extended," Tony Brown said.

    Some of the camp residents said they don't want to go to shelters. Aaron Brown said shelters have tight living quarters and he doesn't want to sleep right next to strangers.

    The property owner has not issued a final deadline for people to move out of the camp.

    City officials said they will help people find other places to stay.

    NBC DFW's Ken Kalthoff contributed to this report.