Smaller homeless camp pops up on private property in OTR

Small camp pops up on private property at 13th and Republic in OTR (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - The group of homeless people who have been kicked out of everywhere they have set up is finally able to rest easy. They are on a piece of private property at the corner of 13th and Republic streets in Over-The-Rhine where the county can't evict them.

David Walker's been part of the tent city since it was on Third Street.

"For four days straight in a row, I moved every single day, consecutively, and then had to go to work. I'm tired, and I'm ready to just give up," Walker said.

According to the state, the land is owned by The People's Co-op Development Corporation, which shares the same address as Over-the-Rhine Community Housing.

No one from the People’s Co-op Development Corporation was available to answer questions about how long the group would be allowed to stay.

"I don't see it [lasting] very long, and we'll be out of here too because no one wants us around," Walker said.

A Hamilton County judge banned homeless camps in the county and ordered anyone defying that order to be arrested.

Being on private property changes the way the city and county can deal with the camp. For the most part, police cannot do anything unless they receive complaints about crime or health code violations.

Homeless advocates, like Samuel Landis, the founder of Maslow's Army, said a lot of good has come from the camp.

"There has been a lot of great progress down here with people signing up for housing, wanting to take that next step and to transition into community and society," Landis said.

People in the camp said around 50 people have been helped by the camp members and homeless groups working together, but they also say shelters in the area are full.

Even if there is a spot open, there are several reasons people choose not to go to a shelter.

"It could be mental illness. It could be the fact that you cannot be with your significant other in a shelter," Walker said.

Everyone here is hoping, since they're not that visible, the city will leave them alone until they can figure out something permanent.

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