Tent City residents head to court - Los Angeles Local News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Tent City residents head to court

Posted: Updated:
(File/MyFoxNY.com) (File/MyFoxNY.com)
NEW JERSEY (MYFOXNY.COM) -

A disabled nurse, homeless veterans, a pregnant woman, and a supermarket bagger fired for taking care of her drying boyfriend are all living in tents in the woods near the Jersey shore.

They are among the 80 or so homeless residents of Lakewood's Tent City who are telling their stories to a judge who will decide the fate of the camp.

Among the reams of paperwork the judge will consider in a hearing on Friday are the stories of 16 of the camp's residents. They explain how illness, the loss of a job, or other factors led them to the camp. They all say they want to leave for better housing.

Lakewood and Ocean County want the township-owned camp closed.

Tent City's numbers have doubled in the past year.

One couple that has lived in Tent City for two years have settled in so nicely that they have curtains and flowers in their wood-framed tent.

Elwood E. Hyers says, "Instead of being depressed that you're homeless, at least this way you're going inside and saying 'wow'. You shut the door and don't feel homeless."

They even have even erected a mail box in font of their tent with Paradise Lane written as the address.

The population is now around 100 people. Many are from New York City.

Pastor Steve Bringham set up the camp. He had a kitchen and a working bathroom. It even has a washer and dryer. It is funded by donations from local churches.

Marilyn Berenzweiger, an unemployed fashion designer, says the makeshift camp make her feel safe.

"There is a lot of protection here. We feel very comfortable," Berenweiger says.

Residents of Tent City recently held an election to approve rules for the camp, and to elect delegates to represent their interests in dealings with the outside world.

Gregory "Pops" Maple was 1 of 3 Tent City residents chosen to represent the camp. The 62-year-old's best qualification may be that he's a great listener.

This was the seventh winter for the camp, but the first with any regulations.

They include respecting each other and keeping the peace. Drugs and illegal weapons are prohibited. No going into someone else's tent without their permission.

Issues in the election included who gets the next available heater.

Copyright 2013  MyFoxNY.com/AP

  • New Jersey NewsNew Jersey NewsMore>>

  • Princeton University giving town $24M

    Princeton University giving town $24M

    Thursday, April 24 2014 5:33 PM EDT2014-04-24 21:33:55 GMT
    Princeton University has agreed to contribute more than $24 million over the next seven years to the town of Princeton. The deal was announced Thursday and is set for consideration by the town government's approval on Monday. The university and town officials frame it was as a way to resolve an age-old issue in college towns where much of the land is university-owned and thus tax-exempt.
    Princeton University has agreed to contribute more than $24 million over the next seven years to the town of Princeton. The deal was announced Thursday and is set for consideration by the town government's approval on Monday. The university and town officials frame it was as a way to resolve an age-old issue in college towns where much of the land is university-owned and thus tax-exempt.
  • NJ brush fire forces evacuations

    NJ brush fire forces evacuations

    Thursday, April 24 2014 4:16 PM EDT2014-04-24 20:16:10 GMT
    A New Jersey school and several homes were evacuated Thursday afternoon because of a large brush fire that was being fanned by winds.Beachwood Intermediate South School was closed just after 12:30 p.m. Parents were told not to report to the school. The Ocean County Sheriff's Dept. said that all children were going to be safely evacuated to another location.
    A New Jersey school and several homes were evacuated Thursday afternoon because of a large brush fire that was being fanned by winds.Beachwood Intermediate South School was closed just after 12:30 p.m. Parents were told not to report to the school. The Ocean County Sheriff's Dept. said that all children were going to be safely evacuated to another location.
  • Large brush fire raging in Berkeley; homes evacuated

    Large brush fire raging in Berkeley; homes evacuated

    Thursday, April 24 2014 1:05 PM EDT2014-04-24 17:05:30 GMT
    A massive brush fire is burning acres of land between Grand Central and Northern Boulevards in Berkeley. Homes are being evacuated in the area. Police are in the area, including helicopters. We'll have more on this story as it becomes available.
    A massive brush fire is burning acres of land between Grand Central and Northern Boulevards in Berkeley. Homes are being evacuated in the area. Police are in the area, including helicopters. We'll have more on this story as it becomes available.
Powered by WorldNow

KTTV FOX 11
1999 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90025

Main: (310) 584-2000
News Tips? (310) 584-2025

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices