JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A homeless camp in downtown Jacksonville is growing.
Now the city says it will be moved in the next week. But not everyone wants to go.
The city said in the next seven days the homeless camp referred to as “tent city” at Union and Jefferson streets will be closed and the people will be moved indoors. The city’s goal is to end homelessness.
In the last four months, the camp has grown from a couple of tents to dozens.
According to the city, since Jan. 1, 54 people were offered extended-stay hotels and 48 have accepted.
Caleb Poole lives at the camp.
He said he started hearing that the city would make people move on Monday.
“By the end of next week we should all be ramping it down. They were saying it’s a health hazard,” Poole said.
According to the city, there are 100 people at the camp and they will be given a place to stay indoors in a week.
The “temporary bridge shelter” will be open for 30 days to connect people to an overnight shelter including bathroom and shower facilities, food, water, and other essential items such as hygiene kits as well as employment, medical and social services.
After 30 days the bridge shelter will be closed. Those who want to will be able to continue participation in the resources at the Urban Rest Stop.
Poole says he doesn’t want to move again.
“I feel like that is ridiculous. I feel like it’s all a sham, I feel like it’s all a trap,” Poole said.
The city says camping outside is not a long-term solution.
“The City of Jacksonville is responsible for enforcing code violations that compromise public safety, and at this time, we have to take precautions to ensure individuals are not at risk. In order to also ensure these individuals can take advantage of the many resources available to them, like food, water, bathrooms, shelter, storage, clothing and much more, we must relocate them to places that do not pose public health or safety risks,” the city wrote in a statement.
The city will eventually release more information about where the new shelter will be located.