TENT CITY EVICTION – HELP NEEDED
Homeless people who live along the bike trail, near the downtown RTS station, have until Tuesday, July 8 to move out. The person who owns the land wishes to sell it. He was holding off until Grace Market Place opens for actual shelter, but that date has been pushed to November 1 and he needs to get his land on the market now. Other camping areas, including the Sweetwater Branch camp, remain undisturbed. This particular portion of tent City has a fair number of people who are elderly or have other major challenges, so they are going to need help to get themselves and their possessions moved out. We are encouraging them to move to wooded areas near the Grace Market Place, so they will have access to water, meals and other amenities. According to the latest count, about half the people who were living in this area have moved out on their own, or with help from the good people of Occupy Gainesville, and between 20 and 30 camp sites remain occupied.
We have set SATURDAY, JULY 5 at 10 a.m. as moving time for those who remain in Tent City. We are asking anyone who has a pickup truck or van to help. People who may not have a large vehicle, but do have strong backs, are also invited to come and help. Helpers should wear gardening gloves. Generations of homeless people, some with severe addiction issues, have lived in this area, without access to water or to garbage pickup, so conditions are not good. Tomorrow morning, I’m doing a walk-through of the area, with Bud our van driver. We are going to take another count of who is there and who will need help. People will be told to have their things packed up and ready to go for the 10 a.m. July 5 moving day. For any further information, helpers can call me at 372-4825.
Freeman is going to make a little map of exactly where helpers should meet, and I will send that out ASAP.
PROGRESS REPORT ON THE IMPACT OF GRACE MARKET PLACE
IT’S WORKING!!! Every Thursday we are finding fewer people at the Tent City stop and fewer people living in Bo Diddley Plaza! I believe that almost half of those living in Bo Diddley have moved, and that is WONDERFUL news!! No one wants to live on the sidewalk in the middle of a downtown area. In talking to these folks, I have learned that most of them are afraid of living in the woods or are too old or too disabled to walk or bike back and forth from the woods to services. They have been more or less trapped there, looked down upon by snoots and prey to drug dealers and other bad guys from the housed community. On a recent visit Freeman and I made to Grace Market Place we found some folks who had been living on the plaza and are now volunteers at Grace Market Place. The readers of this newsletter have played a major role in this transformation, by donating tents and money to buy tents. Until we get everybody moved out there, we still need donations of tents or money to buy tents. As of this moment, I have six tents in stock, and four of them are going out today to women who have been living in Bo Diddley. I hear through the grapevine that some of you have been donating tents directly to Grace Market Place, and that is fine also.
Thank yous and blessings to everyone!
The Home Van needs tents, tarps, bottled water, insect repellant, Vienna sausages, creamy peanut butter, jelly, candles, white tube socks, batteries, and games. Call 352-372-4825 to arrange for drop off. Financial donations to the Home Van should be in the form of checks made out to Citizens for Social Justice, Inc., earmarked for the Home Van, and mailed to 307 SE 6th Street, Gainesville, FL 32601, or can be made online at http://homevan.blogspot.com/
THE HOMEVAN IS A PROJECT OF CITIZENS FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE, INC. (FDACSREGISTRATION #CH35643). A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE.REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.