Homeless residents struggling amid fears of encampment removal

Published: Jul. 10, 2022 at 10:09 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - After being asked to move and find a new area to live in, homeless Atlantans have made a major plea for help from city leaders.

Dozens of people without homes have asked police where they should go next after they say they aren’t welcomed at some area shelters.

“We’re wanting to save our home. I don’t care if it’s here or another spot – we’re wanting to save our homes,” said Wendy Watson.

A tent on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive is where Watson calls home.

“This is what I take a bath in and what I wash my clothes in,” she said.

“It’s not easy. It’s very hard and stressful,” Watson continued.

Anxiety continues to grow for those struggling to find new homes. Watson says she fears she will no longer have a place to take shelter after Atlanta police demanded the group leave the area on Saturday.

“They want us to move but don’t want to help us.”

Homeless people in tents in Atlanta
Homeless people in tents in Atlanta(CBS46 News)

Watson also suffers from a variety of health problems – including seizures – which prevent her from getting into a shelter.

“There’s people out here like me who can’t go into shelters because they also have health issues and we’re a “risk.”

Atlanta police could not provide a statement regarding this specific encampment – but its standard operating procedure mandates…

“A homeless person may be asked to move for safety or security reason.”

Officers must provide a date by which they must leave the area… and the location of alternate shelter.

But this encampment – primarily made up of elderly and disabled people – says it’s still waiting for shelter solutions that open to them…

“You don’t know what people been through. Everyone has a story to tell,” said Hoseh Williams. “It’s rough. It’s rough really. Don’t nobody want to be bothered with you.”