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Hamilton homeless camp remains after deadline

Posted: 5:33 PM, Oct 01, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-01 22:21:49Z

HAMILTON, Ohio -- People living in a homeless camp in Hamilton expected to be forced out by the end of September, but they remained there as of the afternoon of Monday, Oct. 1. 

A posting on a tree in the camp stated that everyone had to be cleared out by the end of the month. Someone tore down the sign Sunday night, and now the people experiencing homelessness in the camp are wondering whether the deadline will really be enforced.

People in the woods behind Hamilton Plaza said they've been living there for more than a decade. Across the train tracks, business owners said the camp has been driving away customers. 

Nearby at the Sky Meadows Mobile Home Park, some residents like Yolanda Villarreal said they're concerned for their safety.

"You know, I've had my stuff stolen, my neighbors have had stuff stolen," Villarreal said.

Hamilton police gave the camp the deadline that has come and gone.

"I'm going to see what happens," William Crouter, a man living in the camp, said.

Some of the camp's residents have been packing up just in case. Crouter said most people don't think the deadline will be enforced.

"If you shut this one down, four more will pop up somewhere," he said.

A reporter called Hamilton police to see if they still plan to clear out the camp, and they said they'd get back to us. 

Crouter hopes that means the camp will get to stay. Villarreal feels like her family's concerns are being ignored.

"Kids say they're drunk because they don't know any better; 'Mommy, grandma, this guy came out of there and he's drunk.' You know, our kids don't need to see that," she said.

Butler County Commissioner Cindy Carpenter said the county has collected a lot of data about the camp. They hope to use those data to help improve homeless services in the future.