Harlingen's 'Tent City' demolished amid controversy
Fri, 15 Apr 2011 23:42:07 GMT —
What was once Harlingen's 'Tent City' is no more.
The makeshift haven for drifters is now being cleared out by bulldozers, forklifts and cranes on Friday morning.
"It was very unfair these people to take us out of here cause they know we're homeless and we have no where to go," said Mariana Rodriguez a woman whose lived in tent city for seven years.
Harlingen police gave those calling "Tent City" a home an ultimatum that if they weren't out by 8 a.m. Friday morning they would be forced out and arrested.
As morning came those staying there, although saddened, were prepared to leave.
The move came after Union Pacific Railroad, who owns the property, on the end of F Street was advised by the City of Harlingen that Tent City existed.
Citing safety and health concerns, Union Pacific teamed up with Harlingen police to make sure all of those living there were removed.
But for many like Mariana Rodriguez it's time to start over and she said it wont be easy.
On Friday morning, even community members drove by saddened by the news.
But not everyone is upset about this situation.
Bill Reegan, Executive Director of Loaves and Fishes a shelter in Harlingen said he understands the move is for the best.
"I honestly think this needs to be done because the folks who stay out here are some of the folks whose homelsesness is a pretty hardcore problem and probably need to be forced into making decisions that will get them off the streets."
Whether this will keep these drifters of the streets or not, remains to be seen but one thing is for sure "tent city" will not be their home.