‘Tent City’ continues to be concern, property owner files lawsuit to get rid of homeless camp

Updated: Aug. 2, 2020 at 10:00 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - An area in uptown Charlotte along North Tryon Street, known as “Tent City,” is in question. A property owner recently filed a lawsuit and wants a judge to order all of the tents belonging to the homeless community there be removed.

There are some people who believe finding a solution to homelessness would come quicker if more people saw it for the people struggling and not just and a bad look for the city.

WBTV spent time talking to people who live in “Tent City” and found many of them are on the streets for different reasons. Some of them say when they make eye contact with someone driving by, people seem to be looking at them as problems and not people – which can be hurtful.

“Some are very caring, compassionate, loving, sharing, and others are very judging and hateful,” said Angelique Diaz-Landry who’s lived in Tent City for a few months.

With nowhere else to go, “Tent City” is the only place some people say they can call home. The owner of the property where the tents stand filed a lawsuit on Monday and wants a judge to make a ruling that gets rid of “Tent City.”

According to claims in the lawsuit, the property owner says the homeless camp is creating trash that has to be cleaned off the property and is creating a nuisance with added noise and increased crime.

“Where do these people go? Where do they have to go?” asked Kileem Slayton.

There are groups of people who choose “Tent City” because they are turned away from shelters each night because they are full.

Slayton works at the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte as a Case Manager.

He does not place blame on the property owner for his decision to file a lawsuit. He just wants more people to care to push for solid change, so homelessness is no longer a problem in the city.

“I think that you can start with affordable housing. They are building businesses and buildings left and right. However, it’s not affordable for a lot of individuals and I think the belief is homeless individuals don’t have income and that’s not necessarily true. They have income, it’s just not living wage income,” said Slayton.

The case manager for the men’s shelter says even if a judge does rule to get rid of “Tent City.,” that’s only going to push people to another part of town.

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