Homeless people no longer allowed under bridges?

October 1, 2010 8:52:30 PM PDT
City leaders in Fayetteville are considering a plan that would make living under bridges on city property against the law.The homeless, who say they live under bridges because it's the only roof they can put over their heads, are worried their form of shelter might be taken away.

More than 150 homeless people stay under nearly two dozen bridges like the one on Person Street in Fayetteville.

Buck Quick says he has lived there for about six months.

"I had a layover in Fayetteville at the bus stop so I went to sleep. When I woke up all my belongings were gone, bus ticket, wallet and everything," Quick said. "So that's how I ended up here."

About half a dozen tents are set up in the area, housing as many as 15 people. Many say they wonder where they will go if city leaders make the areas off limits to homeless settlements.

"Well it's going to put a lot of people out of somewhere to stay," said Larry Capps, who is homeless. "Aren't going to have no alternative, but turn to the streets and just find where ever they can find to stay, whether it is woods, abandon houses."

"If they get moved out from under the bridges, then you're going to see all these abandon houses being broken into because if I'm cold, I'm going to find a place to sleep," said Sue Byrd with Operation INASMUCH.

Fayetteville Mayor Tony Chavonne says banning the homeless from under bridges isn't a done deal.

"Our staff as gotten together to explore potential solutions," he said. "It has not been finalized, come to council or any plans to displace anyone yet. We fully expect that they'll look at the options and come to us and we'll have a community discussion on what we need to do in that area."

The mayor says the city is considering removing the settlements because of safety concerns.

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