Tent City residents head to court - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

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>>

  • Man punched in face in knockout assault

    Man punched in face in knockout assault

    Thursday, August 21 2014 6:55 AM EDT2014-08-21 10:55:16 GMT
    The so-called 'knockout game' where a person punches another unsuspecting person has made its way to Hackensack, New Jersey. Police say one assailant attacked three people all in the same day. Surveillance video shows the athletically built suspect punch a man in the face and stroll away. The man fell to the ground. Two other assaults took place within less than 15 minutes in the areas of Essex Street, Summit Avenue and Beech Street on Monday night.
    The so-called 'knockout game' where a person punches another unsuspecting person has made its way to Hackensack, New Jersey. Police say one assailant attacked three people all in the same day. Surveillance video shows the athletically built suspect punch a man in the face and stroll away. The man fell to the ground. Two other assaults took place within less than 15 minutes in the areas of Essex Street, Summit Avenue and Beech Street on Monday night.
  • Atlantic City police get body cameras

    Atlantic City police get body cameras

    Thursday, August 21 2014 6:36 AM EDT2014-08-21 10:36:31 GMT
    Atlantic City police officers have started wearing body cameras. About five officers a shift will be equipped with the devices, which record video and audio after an officer activates the device. The video is uploaded after the officer's shift ends.
    Atlantic City police officers have started wearing body cameras. About five officers a shift will be equipped with the devices, which record video and audio after an officer activates the device. The video is uploaded after the officer's shift ends.

  • Parks Service bans drones over Appalachian Trail

    Parks Service bans drones over Appalachian Trail

    Thursday, August 21 2014 6:11 AM EDT2014-08-21 10:11:26 GMT
    The National Park Service has banned drones from flying over the Appalachian Trail. The Park Service said Wednesday the interim rule prohibits launching, landing or operating unmanned aircraft from or on Appalachian National Scenic Trail lands. The ban takes effect immediately and lasts until the Park Service can develop an appropriate policy. 
    The National Park Service has banned drones from flying over the Appalachian Trail. The Park Service said Wednesday the interim rule prohibits launching, landing or operating unmanned aircraft from or on Appalachian National Scenic Trail lands. The ban takes effect immediately and lasts until the Park Service can develop an appropriate policy. 
Powered by WorldNow

WTXF-TV
330 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2796

Phone: (215) 925-2929
Fax: (215) 982-5494

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