Homeless living in three parks in Macon-Bibb forced to relocate
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Early Monday morning, Macon-Bibb Parks and Beautification did some cleaning up in several parks across town–removing make shift shelters, tents and other items of homeless people in the area.
Several homeless lost the only homes they’d ever known.
“They could’ve gave us some place to go besides different places on the street, but I guess this city doesn’t care too much about the homeless,” said Keith Nyman.
After receiving complaints from a number of park users, they were prompted to tell homeless people living in the parks to relocate.
“Most of them we’d combed through the area over the last couple of weeks and let them know we’d be cleaning up the areas,” said Parks and Beautification Director Sam Kitchens.
However, many of those individuals say they weren’t relocated, they were removed because they weren’t given a place to go.
Mayor Robert Reichert instructed Parks and Beautification workers to remove tents, makeshift shelters, and other shelter like structures.
“We’ve identified taken pictures and cataloged it so we’re storing it in a warehouse in clear bins so they can come pick it up at anytime,” said Kitchens.
People living in parts of Central City Park, Rotary Park and Gateway Plaza were then forced to relocate with what little they could carry. But, there was just one problem with that.
“A lot of us down here that come to Daybreak, we have no place to go,” said Nyman. “I know there are spots here in Macon where we can get stuff to eat but other than that–nothing,” he continued.
41NBC asked Kitchens if he knew where the people had gone. He said he didn’t know but that they’d relocated somewhere and that there wasn’t a place designated for displaced homeless to go.
Nyman says this same scenario happened to him just a few months back.
“They wouldn’t give us a reason why but they told us everybody had to leave, but they didn’t tell us where to go or where we could go,” he said.
The county is now working with shelters like Daybreak, the Salvation Army and Homeless Coalition to find a solution.
“We’ve met with the mayor, we’ve met with the Homeless Coalition, we’re partnering with all of them in order to find some answers for the number of individuals who are displaced in our area,” said Captain Andrew Gilliam with the Salvation Army.
The Salvation Army says its doors are open to individuals who were impacted by Monday’s removal with space for up to 122 people. Gilliam says they’ve estimated there are around 200 homeless people in Macon-Bibb living on the streets.