WHEELING, W.Va (WTRF) – New information released on a homeless camp in Wheeling that is set to be torn down on Oct. 13 at 1 p.m.
As of Thursday evening, Wheeling City Manager Robert Herron told 7News the city is considering extending the camp on a temporary basis with the intent to reach the opening of the Winter Freeze Shelter.
7News Reporter Annalise Murphy was at a protest held on Thursday, Oct. 12 where Wheeling community members gathered outside of the city building with a clear message to officials – “Fight Poverty, Not the Poor.”
The hill in East Wheeling near the Nelson Jordan Center has been the only city approved location for those facing homelessness to live for the last two years.
But city manager Herron said they have had numerous complaints and problems at the homeless camp.
So, the eviction notice imposed on Oct. 6 left those living in the camp and those who help the homeless upset.
“It’s uncomfortable. People judge you. People don’t care about your story. Or if they do, they act like they do and then just turn their back on you. So not everybody is homeless for the same reason.”Mitsy Gilmore | Lives at the homeless encampment in East Wheeling
“This is a life-or-death matter for a lot of our friends experiencing homelessness. If they’re evicted, they will only be able to take what they can carry. And that will include, you know, losing their clothes, losing their blankets and potentially even losing their tent and having nowhere to go.”Kate Marshall | Facilitator, House of Hagar Catholic Worker
Dr. William Mercer, a physician with Project Hope, says evicting the homeless from their encampment is dangerous.
“Eviction is not the solution. They call that sweeping and force sweeping has been shown across the country to really damage the health of our homeless.”Dr. William Mercer | Physician, Project Hope
This is a developing story, stay with 7News over the air and here on our website for updates.