Rehoboth Tent City Residents Evicted - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Rehoboth Beach Tent City Residents Evicted

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REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. - A group of homeless people living in tents has been asked to leave by the landowner.

So-called "tent city," just off Route 1 in the forest behind the Midway Presbyterian Church, has been the home to many for several years, and they now are required to leave by Saturday April 5th.

According to the property owner, Robert Hood of Washington state, he was informed by a letter from Sussex County stating "tent city" was an illegal use of his property. After allowing the homeless to use the land over the cold winter months, Hood said he decided it was going too far.

Seth Bratten got to know many of the tent city residents and is worried about them.

"It's a community that, if you go anywhere else, people are on their own," he said. "They came together as a group to survive, and there's not many other places that do that."

So where do they go now? Normally it would be to the shelter at Faith United Methodist Church. However, it is a winter shelter and is also closing this weekend.

Marcia Dean is a volunteer who works with both shelter guests and tent city residents.

"Since were gonna be closing, there's not gonna be a tent city for them to go to, there's not gonna be any warm meals or any warm dry clothes for them to put on," she explained. "It's a real hardship."

Dean and other local volunteers met Wednesday evening to discuss future plans for the tent city residents.

"What we would really love to do is to put something into plan to have a year round shelter, rehab facility," she said. "So that we can help these people who are less fortunate than ourselves pass on our good fortune."

Contrary to some rumors, the Sussex County government said it is not involved with the actual eviction of tent city.

Delaware state police issued a notice and will be evicting the tent city residents by 10am Saturday. Shelter volunteers from Faith United Methodist Church and Epworth United Methodist Church said they will be at tent city around 9:30am Saturday to calmly demonstrate against the removal.

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