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City orders homeless to vacate camp under expressway; time running out

Homeless camp under the expressway, via Carolyn Scofield Homeless camp under the expressway, via Carolyn Scofield
The notice, via Carolyn Scofield The notice, via Carolyn Scofield

Notices have been taped to the bridge, ordering the homeless living under the expressway at Camp and Calliope to vacate.

Time is running out after the noticed was posted on Wednesday giving individuals 72 hours to relocate.

The city recently passed an ordinance prohibiting furniture and other items on public rights of way.

Many of those ordered to vacate moved under the expressway after the city cleared a larger camp under the Pontchartrain Expressway a few weeks prior.

The city states they are working with several local agencies to help people transition and homeless shelters.

But some say there's no room at the shelters and others do not want to go.

"I think you're putting the cart before the horse. This is a punitive measure meant to make the homeless invisible," said Elizabeth Cook, an opponent of the city's actions.

Others agree with the ordinance.  

"When people stake out ground - with tents or sofas - They have co-opted that land, public land, from anybody else using it. I'm not okay with that," stated Stacy Head.

The 72 hours to clear is quickly running out.

More than a dozen tents remain at Camp and Calliope. City officials say anything left after time expires on Saturday will be thrown away.

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