Monday, June 17, 2024

US city to shut down one of largest homeless camps

Authorities in New Orleans have decided to permanently shut down one of the US city’s largest homeless camp as part of a massive effort to reduce homelessness.

New Orleans, the largest city in Louisiana state, has posted a “Closure Notice” on electric poles and pillars around the Tchoupitoulas Encampment, saying that individuals must remove any and all personal property no later than 7 a.m. Friday (local time), and any personal property remaining will be removed and stored for retrieval, reports Xinhua news agency.

After 7 a.m. Friday, anyone remaining on the site will be reported for violations of the city code, which prohibits trespassing on immovable property, according to the notice.

A first violation of the code could result in a fine of no more than $500, and further violations could result in additional fines and imprisonment, local media outlet WDSU said in a report.

City officials said outreach teams are deployed and will provide and coordinate services for any individual who needs housing, shelter, or other services.

Once cleared, the encampment will be fenced off and patrolled to prevent further settlements.

City officials have also begun working to find housing for residents of a second tent encampment, which they said is located in the city’s “inner core”.

“This week’s activity at the Tchoupitoulas encampment is the result of many months of planning and thorough, ongoing outreach to the individuals who have taken up residence there,” New Orleans Council member Lesli Harris said in a statement.

“This is something we will be working to provide to all unhoused individuals in our community, so the City of New Orleans can achieve low or no homelessness in 2025.”

The target will mean locating housing for 1,500 people living on the street, in encampments or in shelters during that time frame, local media outlet NOLA reported.

According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, there were around 582,000 Americans experiencing homelessness in 2022, which is about 18 per 10,000 people in the country, up about 2,000 people from 2020.



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