Neighbors call for action over homeless camp in Dallas

Neighbors call for action over homeless camp

DALLAS - Some neighbors in South Dallas say there are some major concerns under the I-45 bridge and along the 1900 block of South Boulevard.

”It’s extremely frustrating,” said Tammy Johnston.

Trash is scattered everywhere in the area. The stench from human and animal waste is pungent. Neighbors say more and more tents are popping up. More homeless are moving in.

”I mean, it’s like a whole city down there,” activist Thomas Muhammad explained.

This homeless encampment has been a nuisance for neighbors and businesses near South Boulevard, Haskell and Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard for months. Even more of a nuisance, neighbors say, since the City of Dallas began a trend of shutting down homeless encampments near Downtown.

"You know, first they move them. They close one area, you are going to go to another one. They close one area. They are going to go… you know, Why?” neighbor Lakasha Williams said. 

Why city leaders are not doing more to address the surge of transient traffic into South Dallas is top of mind for many families living nearby. It is also an issue community and business leaders are looking to explore during a tent encampment tour they are organizing for Wednesday afternoon.

“Crime has gone up in our neighborhood,” Johnston said.

Johnston is President of South Boulevard-Park Row Neighborhood Association.

“The tent city that is across the street has become a health hazard amongst other things," Johnston said. 

The trash near the encampment is getting out of control. A woman was also seen walking the street completely naked. Not too far away, the old L.A. Bedford office is among many porches homeless people are taking over.

”We’re saying enough is enough,” Muhammad explained.

The community activist is one of the organizers behind this week’s tent city tour. Muhammad says the move is a call to action to city leaders and homeless advocates who, he claims, are not doing enough to address the community’s concerns.

"There’s supposed to be a place downtown, where they are supposed to be able to go 24/7 and seek refuge. However, it appears that that’s not working, because now they are all over this neighborhood," Muhammad said .

Community organizers say the tour of tent city and press conference will be held at 5 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 2 under the I-45 bridge at 1900 south Boulevard.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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