HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAAY)-For years, the homeless have been living in a large camp under the elevated section of I-565 near Derrick Street in Huntsville. But that may be changing. The state wants to end this so called "tent city," for safety reasons.
ALDOT officials are hoping to remove the homeless group by January. Division engineer Johnny Harris says the public right of way under the bridge structure is not an appropriate for a long term residential area.
"We have agreed with the city to work with them to give ample time for the relocation of those individuals . Of course we would like to see that as quick as possible" Harris said.
Homeless advocate Rusty Loiselle disagrees. He works for an agency called help the Homeless Veterans and Citizens. They give clothing, food and blankets to folks at tent city.
If the state does give the homeless the boot, Loiselle would like to create a homeless camp that would provide showers and bathroom facilities.
"It is unfair because we all know that place under there is all concrete gravel and steel. So to say its hurting the bridges is crazy" Loiselle says.
The state says there have been several fires, caused by people building fires to stay warm. There are also complaints people living there are not sanitary and don't have bathroom facilities.