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Residents Of Tent City Leave Lot Before Deadline -- And Move Across The Street

People living in tents on a vacant lot off 12th Street just northeast of uptown cleared out ahead of a 5 p.m. Friday deadline to leave the property. But most didn’t go far. 

At least 30 tents are now on state-owned land across the street, around the I-277 entrance ramp. 

A few people have found new housing, with relatives or in shelters, with the help of social service agencies that have been at the site all week. Randall Hitt of Roof Above (formerly the Urban Ministry Center) told WFAE they interviewed 21 people. Of those, six men have moved to the Men's Shelter of Charlotte. He said others have been resistant to living in a shelter and are just dispersing.

Credit David Boraks / WFAE
Brandi, a homeless woman who had been living at 12th and Poplar streets, moved across the street.

Brandi, a woman who had been living at the camp for a couple of weeks, said she and a friend moved across the street in the dark early Friday.

"We were given papers last week that we had to leave by 5 o'clock. So everybody just came over here, we had no place else to go," she said. "They're like forcing us out. And we had no place else to go."

It's not clear what will happen to those who moved across the street. The CDC has recommended against moving homeless encampments during the coronavirus pandemic.

The property owner, electrical contractor WB Moore, says it will begin demolition Monday for a parking lot and storage area for people and equipment. 

Credit David Boraks / WFAE
Most residents of the vacant lot have just moved across the street to land next to an I-277 ramp.

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David Boraks previously covered climate change and the environment for WFAE. See more at www.wfae.org/climate-news. He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.