FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Another homeless encampment in Fort Wayne is getting the boot – this one under the Ewing St. bridge.
Police posted notices Friday morning. People living there have until Tuesday, May 3 at 8 a.m. to move.
The city invited the local media to capture the conditions of the camp before they sweep it. They said they want to show the community why they believe it is a problem.
“The feces, the urine smells, the trash,” said City of Fort Wayne Public Safety Director, Rusty York. “We can’t allow these conditions to continue, not only for the community but for these people’s sake as well.”
York said the safety and health conditions of the camps are so bad that he can’t have his workers clean it. He has to hire contractors with bio-hazard experience.
Boudoir Noir, an adult novelty and lingerie store, sits next to the bridge and complained to the city. Owner Tim Straley said the homeless trashing his property is never ending. He complained about them throwing trash in his store’s recycling bin. He now has to take trash out of it, himself, to keep from getting fined.
“I’m frustrated because things aren’t happening and it keeps going on and on and on,” he said. “I think that’s where my frustration is because we deal with it everyday.”
Still, Straley said he’s also sympathetic for the homeless.
“Why isn’t there a better solution to the problem, finding places for the homeless to go other than underneath the bridges?” he asked.
Some of the bridge’s residents are thinking of solutions as well.
“Instead of evicting people, give us equipment like a trash can or something to keep the areas clean,” said one of Fort Wayne’s homeless spokesman, Keith See.
Resident Joseph Wallace said he has a vision for the city’s homeless.
“I see is a piece of land or something for homeless that are willing, outside of the Rescue Mission, to get into a program,” he said. “To get into some kind of help, where we can come and set up our tents so that we can move forward and not have to worry about the city coming and evicting us.”
Anything not removed from the bridge by the eviction date will be taken by the City.