Local Non-Profits Helping Evacuate “Tent City” Ahead of Friday 5 p.m. Deadline

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Local non-profits are working to help evacuate 150 people living in “tent city,” just north of Uptown.

The county is ordering the homeless encampment be cleared by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, due to a rodent infestation.

We’re told the county will have buses at “tent city’ starting around 9:00 a.m. on Thursday to take people living there to a hotel.

They’ll be able to stay there for at least three months and will be given three meals a day.

“I think that there was good bit of, little bit of panic yesterday,” says Joe Davis, founder of non-profit Hearts Beat as One.

The group, which has helped feed and clothe the homeless in “tent city” for months, got the sudden news Tuesday afternoon that the county is ordering the encampment cleared.

“Yeah, we were just kind of taken back,” Davis says.

Health Director Gibbie Harris says a rat infestation has taken over the camp on 12th Street between Tryon and College, leaving it unsanitary and at risk for spreading disease.

“If that continues, and the rat population continues to expand, which we’ve seen just over the last couple of days, that larger community will be exposed as well,” Harris told County Commissioners on Tuesday night.

Several non-profits, including Hearts Beat as One, are now working with the county at “tent city,” telling people what’s happening and trying to convince them to take the county’s offer of a free hotel room.

“I think that it is a really great option. They’re going to be three meals a day and services provided,” Davis says.

In the past, many have turned down moving to a hotel, but Davis says people feel more comfortable now, since the county has said they’ll be able to stay there for at least 90 days.

“Warmth. An improvement over you know over sleeping on the ground, it was kind of an easy sell, really,” Davis says.

The county says in those 90 days, they’ll work with each “tent city” resident to help them find permanent housing.

Right now, the county says it does not expect law enforcement to be involved in removing people from “tent city.”

Everyone there will be offered a COVID test before leaving and a vaccine for those 65 and older.