Tent City residents head to court

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 convicted of murder in fatal sauce pan beating

    Man convicted of murder in fatal sauce pan beating

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 4:48 PM EDT2014-07-29 20:48:41 GMT
    A man who claimed he was high on drugs and hearing voices when he fatally beat an elderly man with a sauce pan has been found guilty of felony murder.
    A New Jersey man who said he was high on drugs and hearing voices when he fatally beat an elderly man with a sauce pan has been convicted of murder.
  • Mosquito-borne virus sickens 20 in NJ

    West Nile found in New Jersey mosquitoes

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 1:09 PM EDT2014-07-29 17:09:31 GMT
    Twenty New Jersey residents have tested positive for a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. The state Health Department says the residents who came down with chikungunya had returned to New Jersey from the Caribbean. Chikungunya causes a high fever and severe pain in the joints. It is rarely fatal.
    Twenty New Jersey residents have tested positive for a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. The state Health Department says the residents who came down with chikungunya had returned to New Jersey from the Caribbean. Chikungunya causes a high fever and severe pain in the joints. It is rarely fatal.
  • Stuck NJ Transit train removed

    Stuck NJ Transit train removed

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 12:24 PM EDT2014-07-29 16:24:49 GMT
    A New Jersey Transit commuter train with about 1,000 passengers on board became disabled just outside the Hudson River tunnel in Manhattan on Tuesday morning. The train which was on the Northeast Corridor line broke down near 10th Ave., according to NJ Transit officials.  It is not clear what caused the mechanical problem. Lighting and air conditioning on the train were never impacted, according to NJ Transit.
    A New Jersey Transit commuter train with about 1,000 passengers on board became disabled just outside the Hudson River tunnel in Manhattan on Tuesday morning. The train which was on the Northeast Corridor line broke down near 10th Ave., according to NJ Transit officials.  It is not clear what caused the mechanical problem. Lighting and air conditioning on the train were never impacted, according to NJ Transit.
Powered by WorldNow

4739 NW 53rd Avenue, Sutie B
Gainesville, FL 32653

Phone: (352) 371-0051

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