City of Savannah evicts homeless camp under the Truman Parkway

Published: Oct. 13, 2022 at 5:09 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Continuing coverage tonight following the eviction of the homeless camp under the Truman Parkway in Savannah.

We were able to go inside the camp in previous months, but today the city wouldn’t allow that as they had over a dozen police vehicles out there and cited a public safety concern for keeping us away from the residents as the city evicted them.

Our past video shows the conditions around 40 people were living in under Truman parkway for decades. All those folks, evicted today at 1 p.m.

“We’re trying to give everyone that lives out here as much dignity as possible in this process,” said Communications Director Nick Zoller.

Recent development in the area draws a stark contrast to the camp nearby, as luxury apartments continue to be built just across this canal.

We asked the city if that development played any role in the people experiencing homelessness being forced out... this was their response.

”It’s not safe for folks to live under the Truman Parkway and it’s time to go ahead and get folks relocated to a place that is safe. There was no other reason for the decision beyond that.”

The camp has been here for decades, so the next question was why evict them now?

”There’s been some attention based on a recent fire that caused additional inspection and investigation.”

The city says a heavy police presence on scene and in a nearby parking lot was to make sure people were moved out safely, as they provided resources like animal services, transportation, and shelter arrangements for their relocation.

”There’s already been 30 beds that have been opened up, if additional bed spaces are needed then those are on standby.”

One city organization says some people from the Truman camp had already come by before the eviction deadline this afternoon.

“We told our people at our front desk, get ready we’re going to have some people come make sure you accommodate them,” said Larry McDaniel, founder and executive director of Old Savannah City Mission.

After leaving Old Savannah City Mission, we spoke with a group of people experiencing homelessness who voiced their frustrations with the evictions under Truman Parkway.

They ask to really think about what they were going through and said they didn’t know what the folks who were forced out could do now.