Market Street Park encampment gone, City thinks next steps for homeless population
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The homeless encampment at Market Street Park is gone. On Monday, the park looked the same as it did a month ago, before City Manager Sam Sanders lifted the curfew.
Police helped the people camping in the park move out on Saturday, and they were all somewhere else two hours before curfew kicked in at 11:00 p.m.
Parks and Recreation cleaned up the park and planted grass where tents created bare spots.
Charlottesville Mayor Lloyd Snook said the homeless encampment was a short-term solution.
Many people who had camped in the park still spent time in the park during the day.
Snook said opening PACEM Saturday made clearing the park a smooth process.
"If we could give them a place that was dry and warm and safe and sanitary, that was preferable and once we were able to provide that place, folks realize that's where we'd rather be," he said.
But, PACEM is only open through April.
"We need a long-term answer that includes a 24/7 shelter. That includes wraparound services for mental health for drug addiction for job counseling and things like that,” Snook said.
Snook said they've made a working group with people from nonprofits and Albemarle County to keep working on a long-term solution for homelessness.
Sanders, who has been at the front of the issue, has been tight-lipped about the situation.
"You may not hear anything about it for a while, but that's because it's going to take a while to develop," Snook said.