Homeless encampment cleared in Dallas after health, safety complaints

Homeless encampment cleared in Dallas after health, safety complaints
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The city of Dallas has cleared a homeless encampment after residents nearby made health and safety complaints, Fox News affiliate KDFW reported on Wednesday.

The camp was located in the city’s District 9, and Council Member Paula Blackmon sent out a memo last week for people in the camp to leave the area.

"They were forewarned," Blackmon told KDFW. "Now it’s the debris removal, hazmat, because now it’s a ... public health issue too, because there’s human waste there."

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Northeast Dallas residents had complained to city officials about the camp, saying that people have trespassed on their properties and that illegal activities were observed, including open drug trade and prostitution. 

"Completely went from being a nice, simple can take my kids back here and enjoy an open field within the city to I’m afraid for my children to even be outside alone," Chris Hancock told the local station. 

"I am so excited, I am so happy, I have chills," fellow resident Maria Sanchez reportedly said. "It’s not just the homelessness that we're talking about, it's other individuals that are, you know, doing other illicit activities, sketchy activities."

In an emailed statement to The Hill, Blackmon's team confirmed that four area residents had been asked to leave the premises 

"I appreciate the neighbor's patience and diligence in reporting this site to the City,” Blackmon said in the statement. “The Dallas Police Department and the Office of Homeless Solutions collaboration and intervention will improve safety and quality of life for the surrounding neighborhood and I am grateful for their work." 

Texas Gov. Greg AbbottGreg Abbott One-quarter in Texas unwilling, unlikely to get vaccinated: poll Overnight Energy & Environment — White House announces new climate office Hispanic support for Republicans' hardline immigration policies may keep Texas red MORE (R) on Tuesday signed into law legislation that prohibits camping in a public place. 

The new law, which was authored by state Rep. Giovanni Capriglione (R), will be enacted on Sept. 1. 

Homeless camper Kristy Mack told KDFW that she has no place to go since most of the city’s shelters are full. 

“So where are we supposed to go? They say stay hidden, well we try to stay hidden but we can’t because they bulldoze us out," Mack said.

The Hill has reached out to the city of Dallas for further comment.

—Updated at 12:54 p.m.