Dallas promises to close newest ‘Tent City' of homeless

Dallas homeless flock to a new Tent City

DALLAS – Five months after the so-called tent city was torn down at the Interstate 45 and 30 interchange, a new homeless encampment with up to 200 people has come together in East Dallas.

"No one knows it's here. It's hidden and I think it's perfectly hidden," said a woman who visits a homeless relative there and asked not to be identified.

This encampment is on South Haskell Avenue under I-30 between Fair Park and Deep Ellum.

It's the largest homeless camp in the city right now.

"I call it the Haskell Hotel,” said Malek Samadian, a local business owner who has worked in this community for 28 years.

But the litter and the crime this summer have left him fed up.

"We are spending a fortune here; we expect the city to work with us and keep the area clean," explained Samadian.

Over the weekend, one of his tenants lost thousands of dollars in new patio furniture and cushions.

"The lock is busted they stole over $10,000 in furniture," he added.

Down the street, the new storage company says homeless people defecate on their property.

"There has been three murders that I am aware of in the last four months,” added the woman who asked to remain anonymous. “One was right here at that gate. A woman was beaten to death.”

WFAA couldn't immediately verify that claim.

The city said it did deliver large trash containers this summer and someone else brought portable restrooms.

In May, when Dallas closed the so-called Tent City under I-45, this place doubled in size.

"It is the largest in the city right now. By our count yesterday, there's about 92 tents. That could mean more than two people in a tent," said Bernadette Mitchell, Director, City of Dallas Housing Department.

Dallas posted no trespassing signs and added fencing which is protocol, Mitchell said, before the city can begin removing people and their belongings.

"There's not an exact date but we do have it on radar. We are watching for health and safety concerns. That's our biggest issue,” she continued. “It will be closed. We just don't have a firm date yet.”

Samadian says he isn’t anti-homeless but just watches the worst of this social situation the city has yet to solve.

There are no public bathrooms in Dallas and many of the people who live at the Haskell camp do not have the proper identification to get into the shelters, said Wayne Walker, OurCalling Homeless Ministry.

“We’re at a maximum capacity as far as service providers go,” he added.

Walker’s team created a mobile app which the public can use to report where homeless live in Dallas. His ministry can then direct resources to help the individuals. Search “ourcalling” in the App Store for either iPhones or Androids.

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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