Huge homeless camp found in Wilmington

Reported by Lynda Figueredo - bio|email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Just 24 hours after a group announced a new initiative to eliminate homelessness in the Cape Fear region, one of the largest homeless camps in Wilmington was discovered.

Authorities found tents, piles of trash, furniture, and even a makeshift memorial left by the homeless people who were living behind Lovitt's Auto Sales on Carolina Beach Rd. near Medical Center Drive.

The one and a half acre lot belongs to Sharon Efird, but others have been calling the wooded area home.

Efird just found out Wednesday that dozens of homeless people were living on her property when the city cited her for public nuisance.

"I am completely devastated," said Efird. "I don't think I can think how people were living in this condition on my property."

Thursday, police posted signs warning that the area is private property and that it's illegal for anyone to camp out there.

If they don't obey, Efird could pay the price. She has until August 10 to clean up the property and get rid of the current tenants, or she will be fined $100 a day.

"There is so much here," she said. "I don't know the where to begin.  I don't feel this should be my problem. I'm concerned about that."

Efird says she believes about 75 homeless people were living on the property at the time it was discovered.  She fears her cleanup efforts will not prevent them from returning.

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