[FOX NEWS REPORTS & EVEN SEEKS SUPPORT FOR TENT CITY IN CAMDEN, NJ !!]
Local Tent City Residents Need Help
CAMDEN, N.J. – The homeless residents of the Depression-era tent city just miles from Philadelphia are battling winter, and lack heaters and clothes to stay warm.
To outsiders, ‘Tent City’ in Camden, N.J., looks like a scene from The Great Depression – especially with so many tents collapsing from the weight of the snow.
“You have clothes on the lines that are wet from the snowstorm, nobody should be living like this. Nobody,” says Good Samaritan Teresa May.
Fox 29 has learned that the residents need propane and kerosene for heaters, and sleeping bags and thermal underwear.
May’s collecting blankets and other supplies for residents. The homeless who live there rely on the generosity of strangers, like Teresa.
But surprisingly enough, most of them don’t want to leave.
And in fact, there is a waiting list to get in.
“While it’s better here, shelters are just temporary, you’re only there to sleep,” says resident Gary Murtagh. “The people worry about what they’re doing, you only go there to sleep and they kick you out the next morning. I mean, it’s like here, you have, it’s like, a sense of stability,
“Jamaica,” who’s known as “The Mayor,” prefers to call this “Transition Park.” Since Fox 29 did a story there last summer http://www.myfoxphilly.com/dpp/news/local_news/041509_Meet_Camden_Tent_City_Residents, eight people have moved into apartments and 19 have been reunited with family.
“I’m not gonna say that we are helpless. Because people can be homeless but not helpless so we’re helping each other now. Try to motivate each other to go on with their lives, says “Jamaica.”
In the summer, there were 115 people living there. Now, there are just 44. The cold weather, of course, has something to do with that. Although the snow isn’t as much of an issue as some might think – because most of the tents are heated with propane.
“We make the most of a bad situation,” says “Jamaica.” “You know, some people do their Code Blue, five of them so far. Everybody else rather be here. They’d rather be here cause they’re more warmer.”
How To Help
The residents don’t have Web site or a phone number, but there are local organizations who work with them.
The following group is near Tent City and works with residents:
Frank’s Place At Trinity Lutheran Church
523 Stevens Street
Camden, NJ 08103
The group that runs the Frank’s Place shelter is:
Tent City Not Deterred By Snow, Cold: