What happened to ‘Tent City’ in Greensboro?

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Just off Spring Garden Street under the Freeman Mill Bridge, people lived in a Greensboro homeless camp known as "Tent City" for years.

But no one lives there anymore. A City of Greensboro spokesperson said last summer or fall, the property owner asked those living there to move on. The Greensboro Police Department assisted.

It's unclear exactly what happened to prompt the move and the police officer who helped with the situation wasn't available Friday.

But some who work at the Interactive Resource Center, a nonprofit day center that helps people without shelter in Greensboro, remembered at least eight or nine people being displaced.

Gwen Frisbie-Fulton is the director of community engagement at the IRC. She said they often help people displaced from their camps or homes find somewhere new to live.

"People scrambled to try to not only move themselves, but move their belongings to someplace new," she explained. When we asked about those at Tent City, she said they have moved into other camps or into other areas possibly by themselves.

"But it's not as simple as just picking up and moving. Everything they own usually is in those tents and in those bags," she pointed out.

Frisbie-Fulton said there are other tent communities and homeless camps in Greensboro, each with its own personality and rules. It's not always easy to assimilate into a new community.

Furthermore, property owners or zoning problems often force them to leave. "It's difficult to know that you're not wanted and the next place you go may be the same situation," Frisbie-Fulton added.

The community can help by offering property, food and blankets to groups like StreetWatch and the IRC. The police department helps the IRC manage trash and prevent fires at some of the tent communities, but those are short-term solutions to a bigger problem.

"What can we do to change it? We can have affordable housing in Greensboro. We can have housing that people can access so that they don't have to be living in this kind of weather on the streets or squirreled back into the woods behind buildings."

FOX8 tried to locate the owner of the property where Tent City used to be to get more information. Property and deed information indicates he lives in Virginia and did not have a listed phone number.