“When we got here today, there were about eight people that were out here,” he said. “Six of them actually got placed (into a shelter) today. But over the total period of time, there were about 14 people prior to today that got placed here.”
Holloman said the encampment grew from about three tents to 25 over time.
“I always get asked how many people were out here. It's very fluid because many of these tents were unoccupied,” he said.
But other people moved into the empty tents. City officials believe this encampment was a direct result of the opioid crisis.
Fortunately, Holloman said, there are more homeless services available in the winter, so there was space available for them.
“We wanted to make sure people were properly placed, that nobody was cited for any criminal violations,” said Marsha Cohen, executive director of the Homeless Advocacy Center, who was also onsite, “and that people's belongings were not taken without folks having an opportunity to take them with them.”
However, Cohen said she saw crews throwing all of the belongings directly into the trash truck. And contrary to what the city has said, Cohen didn’t witness any drug paraphernalia in the encampment.
“Despite what we've been hearing, it does not appear to me that there's any kind of sustained drug activity,” she added.
Otherwise, Cohen said the homeless people were treated respectfully during the dismantling.