Georgia City Demolishes Homeless Camp Called Health Hazard

MACON, Ga. (AP) — Middle Georgia's largest city has bulldozed a homeless camp, saying it was a health hazard.

Local news outlets report that Macon-Bibb County crews on Wednesday cleared the camp near the Ocmulgee River north of downtown Macon.

City-county officials said they notified camp residents last week that they had to leave, citing a lack of sanitation and open fires near gas stations.

“You can see it and you can smell it: this is not a place people should be living,” Macon-Bibb County Emergency Management Director Spencer Hawkins told Georgia Public Broadcasting.

The camp is one of several along the river. It began growing after the city-county kicked squatters out of a shuttered bus station earlier this year.

Resident Pat Garrett said she would take her tiny plywood home elsewhere.

“We have a several spots, but they’re still iffy, as if they’ll come and do the same thing again, which probably they will," Garrett said.

Others loaded belongings on shopping carts or bikes. Some private groups tried to help haul belongings, which included large furniture like couches and tables.

A local shelter said it could house displaced people for at least 90 days.