4 Exclusive: New 'Tent City' pops up to shelter Harlingen's homeless
Fri, 17 Jun 2011 04:32:05 GMT —
Two months after an area known as Tent City in Harlingen was cleared out by law enforcement, a new makeshift shelter for the city TMs homeless has popped up.
It's located under a big tree next to a canal on the city's west side.
Tattered tarps were seen strewn in the branches with rope.
Canned soups and empty water bottles littered the ground below.
It's evident from the scene on Thursday afternoon that the area was a new home for several people who live on the streets.
Pastor Bill Reagan met with Action 4 News at the site he called Tent City II.
He's the executive director of Loaves and Fishes in Harlingen, an agency that helps to feed and shelter the less fortunate.
"It's so hot," he said. "Whoever's here has got to be so miserable...It looks just like the other tent city really."
Back in April, as many as 30 homeless people were driven from the original Tent City off a brushy area near North F Street.
The tents were erected on property owned by a railroad company.
Harlingen Police officers stepped in and threatened those who lived there with a criminal trespassing charge if they did not leave.
The homeless at Tent City II said they did not want that to happen again.
As a result, Action 4 News agreed not to publically disclose the exact location for Tent City II or the identities of two people who spoke under the condition of anonymity.
Both said they used to live at the original Tent City.
"If you advertise... the same thing is going to happen here," one man said. "We already have cops coming through here."
The heat drove mostly everyone who lived at Tent City II to find relief at a nearby park on Thursday afternoon.
The two people who stayed behind sought shade under a nearby tree.
It TMs unclear how many people reside at Tent City II.
Pastor Reagan said it was only a matter of time before a discovery like this was made.
Ryan: Did you think sooner or later Tent City II would pop up?
Bill: I just wondered where they were... I knew they had to be some place because they are not staying at the shelter, Ryan.
People at the shelter receive food, clothing and the opportunity for a new life, according to Reagan.
"I'll tell them over and over again... Please come stay at Loaves & Fishes," he said.
Homeless people often admit they need help.
One woman at Tent City II said she just needed a job.
"That's what we need. Because without a job we cannot get housing... We cannot get nothing," the unidentified homeless woman said.
Reagan said most homeless people don't do what it takes to find the work.
He now fears those staying at Tent City II won't have the makeshift shelter for too much longer.
Ryan: Do you think they have a legitimate fear that they will have nowhere to go again?
Bill: I think the authorities are going to find out pretty quick. We didn't have that much trouble finding it ourselves."