City of Midland Forces the Homeless to Relocate 1/17/14
CBS 7 News
January 17, 2014
MIDLAND-Last Saturday on the corner of Beard St. and Washington, Christian Fellowship Church set up an encampment for the homeless to live in.
But after complaints and concerns from local residents, these people have to pack up and move elsewhere.
"My grandkids are always playing with their bikes, with their friends, with their neighbors, and with their other cousins, so I mean it is pretty dangerous for them to be in this area at this moment," said Olga Trejo, a resident in Midland.
Evan Rogers with Church Under The Bridge Midland, says he met with both the city's Community Development Director and Code Director to come up with other solutions for the homeless.
"They said, ok if you're going to be that person on their behalf, hereís some numbers, hereís some contacts, lets stay in communication, and lets work on this together," said Rogers.
Rogers says some people already left the property, leaving behind items that they couldn't carry with them, while others were still trying to figure out where to go.
"My question is where are you going to put us if you run us out, you have to have somewhere for us to go," said Tracy Evans, a homeless woman living in Midland.
When asked if he knew where he would be moving to, another homeless man said, ďI donít have a clue. Weíre just going to walk and hope to find an open space."
City Officials said the churchís piece of property isnít zoned for an encampment, and violates several city codes and ordinances, such as not having a sanitary facility.
Rogers says they want to raise funds, and are looking for an abandoned building, or lot to build an emergency shelter to help keep the homeless warm and safe.
However, until something more permanent can be established, they will have to look for shelter on their own.
Anyone who has an unused building, or wishes to help can contact Rogers through Church Under The Bridge Midlandís website at: http://www.churchunderthebridgemidland.org.