Tent City residents head to court - FOX 35 News Orlando

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>>

  • NJ National Guard unit to deploy to Persian Gulf

    NJ National Guard unit to deploy to Persian Gulf

    Friday, August 1 2014 8:34 PM EDT2014-08-02 00:34:45 GMT
    More citizen soldiers will be leaving New Jersey for the Middle East. Nearly 170 troops will depart the National Guard armory in Jersey City on Saturday for duty in the Persian Gulf.
    More citizen soldiers will be leaving New Jersey for the Middle East. Nearly 170 troops will depart the National Guard armory in Jersey City on Saturday for duty in the Persian Gulf.
  • Thousands come out for Blake Shelton's free beach show in Atlantic City

    Thousands come out for Blake Shelton's free beach show in Atlantic City

    Friday, August 1 2014 4:29 PM EDT2014-08-01 20:29:15 GMT
    Country music star and "The Voice" coach Blake Shelton played a free concert on the beach in Atlantic City in front of more than 60,000 fans Thursday night, promoters said. He performed on a stage build on the beach near The Pier at Caesars. Fans that couldn't get into the beach area could hear and watch from the Boardwalk and from boats moored in the water nearby.
    Country music star and "The Voice" coach Blake Shelton played a free concert on the beach in Atlantic City in front of more than 60,000 fans Thursday night, promoters said. He performed on a stage build on the beach near The Pier at Caesars. Fans that couldn't get into the beach area could hear and watch from the Boardwalk and from boats moored in the water nearby.
  • Home owned by Trump holdout sells at auction

    Home owned by Trump holdout sells at auction

    She once called Donald Trump "a maggot, a cockroach and a crumb." This week, he remembered her as "an impossible person."
    An Atlantic City-area real estate figure has bought at auction a property that earned its owner near-folk hero status for resisting decades of overtures from developers...
Powered by WorldNow

35 Skyline Drive
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Phone: (407) 644-3535
News Tips: (866) 55-FOX35

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