On Monday morning, tents along the Ocmulgee River were empty. County leaders first told people to move out of the areas surrounding the trail last week, saying they received numerous complaints from people who use the area for recreation.
“We are very sensitive because we do understand that they're human beings just like we are and they're down on their luck and they don't have anywhere to go,” said Kitchens. “It's a safety issue, it's a sanitary issue, and there's no real solution, and we know that, but can't not do anything.”
Tents, chairs, and clothes now sit in clear storage bins at Central City Park. “I'm taking pictures and labeling every site so that we know what was there, what was taken, and where it is,” said Kitchens.
As crews clear the trails, the issue of homelessness still lingers because whether here or somewhere else, the problem continues. “I hope this is a call to everyone that has a resource that these people need to band together and come to a solution,” said Kitchens.
Macon-Bibb County's Parks and Beautification employees carried out Mayor Robert Reichert's order to clear the homeless camps along the Ocmulgee River.
Parks Director Sam Kitchens says crews picked up dozens of items in Central City Park.
County workers then went over to Gateway Plaza - also known as Otis Redding Park - then to Rotary Park.
Kitchens his department created a list with pictures of each camp site to keep track of what they're collecting.
The items were put in clear bins so the owners can claim them at Central City Park.
Some items left behind were bikes, tents, chairs and clothes.
Kitchens says more than 80 percent of what they've collected so far is trash or debris.
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