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Should Lakewood’s Tent City Be Knocked Down? [POLL]

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The other day, this letter came to my attention on the New Jersey 101.5 Facebook page about the demolition of Lakewood’s Tent City from user Lisa Rose Ferrara

She wrote the following, in part:

Today, police descended on Tent City of Lakewood, NJ, checking resident IDs and marking tents for demolition.

One thing both Tent City’s supporters and critics can agree upon, however: Rolling in with bulldozers, trucks, and other public works vehicles…posting “No Trespassing” signs around the camp…marking tents for demolition with big red X’s…having police march through the camp and come into people’s tents unannounced…all of those things are the total OPPOSITE of compassion.

It is clear that Lakewood Township’s true concern isn’t the well-being of the poor. It’s obtaining the land on which Tent City is situated as quickly as possible so they can develop it and further their RACIST, SEPARATIST RELIGIOUS AGENDA. Power for power’s sake, and discrimination by design – paid for, ladies and gentlemen, with YOUR TAX DOLLARS.

And Ocean County is liable as well. Compared to neighboring counties, i.e., my home county of Monmouth, resources for the poor are minimal. The political will of county officials bends only in the direction of the almighty dollar: wealthy voters, and catering to tourists.

As for people who don’t want the homeless, the addicted, or the mentally ill in their backyards? I have news for you: with Tent City shutting down, and with nowhere for them to go, THEY ALREADY ARE. With no supervision, no resources to assist them with rehabilitation, job training, healthcare, or housing. Maybe if those who HAVE backyards would open them up to a homeless person and let them camp out there, the world would be a better place!

We all have a hand in this. And each and every one of us is either part of the solution, or part of the problem.

I don’t know that there’s a religious or racist agenda here other than the county doesn’t have the resources to house these people. This is not new, and has been going on for some time.

And with many of the residents being mentally ill, that only adds to the problem, since some may not want to adjust to living in closed quarters if they’re provided

There is no easy solution, just like there’s no easy solution for the “people of the woods” that I’d written about last year.

Homelessness is not the kind of problem that can be solved by having well-intentioned people sleep out in a box at night on a football field. There are a host of reasons it exists. Mental illness, the economy, just to name a couple.

And with the state strapped for funds in order to balance the budget, it doesn’t seem to be as though there’s going to be any answer on the horizon anytime soon.

So if this Tent City comes down, I wouldn’t be surprised if others pop up in its wake.

Should it remain where it is until a better solution is found? And what of the other “tent cities” around the state?”

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