On Your Side: Homeless Camp Cleaning Up its Act

Savannah’s nearly 1,000 chronic homeless residents, often with nowhere else to turn, live in communal camps under bridges and in the woods.

“You know a lot of people have a misconception about the homeless,” said Cynthia, who asked us not to use her last name. “Not all of us are druggies or alcoholics, we just hit hard times.”

Cynthia, who many of the other members of the Truman Parkway homeless camp call “mom” has lived in the camp on-and-off for 2 years. She cooks most of the food, she’s in charge of their extra supplies, she even assigns chores. But she says when they put  IMG_1758trash they’ve collected in garbage bags on the side of the road, the City won’t pick it up.

“We put it out there and it’ll sit out there for a week or two,” said Cynthia. “So we bring it back cause if they’re not going to pick it up, you don’t want a car hitting it and scattering it all over!”

She brought he issue to Mike Stewart, who lives in Savannah part-time and drops food and water off at the camp as often as he can.

“They’re willing to do all of the labor and all the city has to do is swing by and pick it up, and I thought you know somebody should says something, somebody should get something going,” said Stewart.

So he turned to WSAV for help.IMG_1755

According to the Director of Savannah’s Citizen Office Susan Broker, the reason they often don’t pick up the trash is because of contamination, mostly from human waste.

But Broker did tell News 3 they will be going to the camps in the next few days to teach the residents there how to dispose of things properly.  Then, on March 5th, they’ll begin passing out gloves and extra trash bags to the homeless living there.
But the director of the savannah homeless authority, cindy murphy kelley tells me a long term plan needs to be put into place to prevent these issues in the future.

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