Chattanooga's Tent City officially shut down
Piles of tents, clothing and other belongings were loaded into dumpsters by bulldozers Thursday the remnants of the people who used to call Tent City home.
One of the largest homeless camps in Chattanooga is officially shut down.
The city recently learned that section of 11th Street was contaminated with toxic chemicals.
For years, it was used as a dump site.
Piles of tents, clothing and other belongings were loaded into dumpsters by bulldozers Thursday the remnants of the people who used to call Tent City home, like Greg Driscol.
He was one of 130 people who were told they had to leave Tent City two weeks ago.
He packed what he could and left and is going through the process of finding a permanent home.
"Stuff accumulates so now you have a bunch of bags, you have to stop every block because you have to rest, it's kind of hard," he said.
Thursday, he received the news he's been waiting for. His housing application was approved.
"To have your own home and have your own apartment, I'm really excited about that. It's a blessing," Driscol said.
Vickie Rose received the same news.
She became homeless at the beginning of the year when she said a back injury left her unable to work.
The thought of being a step closer to stability is almost too much to bare.
"I have been approved. I have, and it's hard not to get emotional because I'll have a solid roof over my head that I can call my own," Rose said.
Kerry Hayes with the City of Chattanooga said there are still 70 people who lived in Tent city going through the housing process.
Criminal charges and past due balances are some of the factors that can make it longer for some compared to others.
"It's a complicated situation, it's going to take some time. We're doing everything we can to make sure people have temporary shelter and permanent shelter if they want it," Hayes said.
Hayes said the city is also helping by giving those who lived in Tent City a place to store their belongings for a couple of weeks.
For Rose, she's waiting to find out the next step in the housing process and believes the future is bright.
"More paperwork but you know, it's a good place to start. I've been approved the Wheeler apartments I believe and they just need more information I hope," Rose said.
After bulldozers are finished, a permanent gate will be installed and no trespassing signs.
Hayes said the city does not currently have development plans for the piece of property, and does not have remediation planned.