Homeless people have until Monday to remove tents

Homeless have until Monday to remove tents

According to Macon-Bibb Mayor Robert Reichert, the homeless people living along the Ocmulgee River have until Monday to move their tents and go somewhere else.

According to County Spokesman Chris Floore, the Parks and Recreation Department received daily calls that included harassment, panhandling, and reports of unsanitary practices along the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail.

62-year-old Robert Reynolds says he's been homeless for more than decade and says it's tough living on the streets.

"Just because you have your 9-to-5 jobs and you can go home and do this and do that, think about the folks here on the streets," says Reynolds. 

He says there are a few things that cross his mind daily when it comes to living on the street. 

"You have to worry about police, you have to worry about people stealing your stuff," says Reynolds. "You have to worry about your shelter and everyday life."

When it comes down to the Ocmulgee River, trash can be seen from the trail where many walk by.

"I understand that people are having problems walking the trail, probably they figured that their life was in danger, says Reynolds. "They want to walk the trail without people asking them for money. The mayor is just doing what he has to do."

When Macon Rescue Mission CEO Pat Chastain heard about the mayor's request earlier, he says his first thought was, "How can we help? What can we do?"

The Macon Rescue Mission is one of the organizations in the Homeless Coalition. 

They have space for 36 men in their recovery program that last at minimum 9 months, but only a handful of beds are available. 

"Anybody that's caught up in not having a place to stay, we would at least like to talk to you and interview you and at least find out if we can house you," says Chastain.

For many that once called the space along the Ocmulgee home, they will have to pick up the pieces and go somewhere else.

"God bless those who are homeless because we're only here for a few minutes," said Chastain. 

Floore says this area has a transient population, and, at one point, had upwards to 30 people. On Monday, the Sheriff's Office Parks and Public Works will begin to remove tents in and clean the area come Monday. 

Below is a list of organizations in the Macon Coalition to End Homelessness

The Salvation Army of Central Georgia
Macon–Bibb Economic Community Development Department
Macon-Bibb Economic Opportunity Council (EOC)
Family Advancement Ministries
Daybreak, a project of Depaul USA
Wellcare
U.S. Veterans Administration
Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA)
River Edge Behavioral Health Center
Macon Rescue Mission
Centenary Community Ministries
Mentors Project of Bibb County
First Choice Primary Care
United Way of Central Georgia
Macon Re-entry Coalition
Macon Outreach at Mulberry
Loaves and Fishes Ministry

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