New city-sanctioned ‘Tent City’ could be coming to Rochester

Local News

After a group of homeless people were evicted from their encampment on Mt. Hope Avenue earlier this year, the City of Rochester is now looking for a solution. They’re partnering with advocates to come up with a new plan. 

Tent City is a place the homeless has called home for years. The only problem is the property they used was owned by Spectrum Communications. James Smith, spokesman for city, says their goal is to help this group find permanent housing. 

Smith tells News 8 not everyone in the homeless community is interested in permanent housing, so they were forced to come up with another solution. 

“To find a piece of property that the advocacy group could take on that they would own and operate,” Smith said.

That property is an empty lot on Industrial Street, near 490, behind Nick Tahou’s. An advocate for the homeless, Connie Sanderson, does not agree with sanctioned homeless encampment. 

“It’s very much a phenomenon of the West Coast, where there is a more temperate weather. Here what would happen to people in the encampment when winter comes around, ” Sanderson said. 

Sanderson tells News 8 that area would also have to be in compliance with public health. 

Smith says many of the people who reside in Tent City choose to live outside; this is a challenge because they’ve been in places where there is a conflict with property owners. 

The new agreement and property could become a conflict-free living area for those who choose a non-traditional home.

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