PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A homeless encampment in Providence where people were ordered to leave by Friday will be allowed to stay for now after Mayor Jorge Elorza visited the site.
“I told them we are not just going to put them out on the street, because it will push the problem to another place,” Elorza told WPRI-TV. They won't be asked to leave until a short-term and long-term plan to help them is in place, he said.
“These are human beings, let’s not forget that,” the mayor said. “This is the face of a housing crisis we are seeing in the city and in the state. There’s a lot that we need to do.”
About 15 homeless Rhode Islanders live at the encampment in a vacant lot. The tent community built a garden, eating area and outdoor shower with the hope to stay for an extended period of time.
Elorza told the station that he's aware that neighbors are not pleased with the encampment and said the city will continue to monitor it and if there's any criminal or unsafe activities happening, things will change.