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April 23, 2014, 04:06:32 pm
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Author Topic: Eviction from Tent City  (Read 976 times) Share
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MichaelC
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« on: June 14, 2006, 03:51:03 pm »

More at Urban Tulsa

quote:
Along the Arkansas River, between the riverbank and a levee, is a place where some call home. Inside the dense tree line, one can stumble across areas that have been cleared out--the grass gone, and the sandy, Oklahoma loam compacted to make a smooth flat surface.
 
There are a few chairs, a CD, a battery, clothes, food trash, empty, plastic, vodka bottles and even a partial denture. Only a few yards away, a bond official stumbles onto a make shift privy. This is someone’s home—such as it is.
 
Over the last couple of months, local officials began work to clean up the levee area just south of Newblock Park--part of that effort includes moving out the homeless who have made the levee area their home. That area, over the years, has earned the named Tent City. Residents of the Hooverville-like community have until Oct. 31 to vacate the area.
 
The decision to remove the homeless from the area was made out of necessity and for their own safety, officials say. But the question is: after so many years of non-enforcement, what has changed. Why are these people being asked to leave now? Why were they allowed to live here so long?
 
Tulsa County Levee Commissioner for District 12 Frank Keith started the process about two years ago by contacting the Tulsa County Commission and various other officials. He was looking for ways to address the growing issue and to address a bigger concern: the levee and the riverbank.
 
Tent City’s population has grown over the last five to six years, he said; though its history goes well beyond that. Keith can recall when he first started working with the levee commission in 1980, that there was at least one individual, a woman, was living in the area. After that, there was a scattered population.
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