My Turn, Your Turn: Homeless camp found - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

8.4.09

My Turn, Your Turn: Homeless camp found

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By Gary McNair - bio|email

The recent discovery of a homeless camp is giving us a great example of putting blame on an innocent victim.

Recently one of the largest homeless settlements was discovered in the City of Wilmington.  From the pictures, it is easy to see that many people have been living here for quite some time.

Obviously there are many out there with nowhere to go.  The problem is where some of them choose to go. 

The large homeless settlement was found on property owned by a private citizen, and now the police and the city are threatening her with fines.

This woman - whose only crime was inheriting a plot of land - and who did not know about the homeless colony - has been charged with a being a public nuisance. 

She may have to pay a fine of $100 a day until she gets all that stuff off her land.  And if she doesn't, she could actually lose her property.

Now let's add injury to insult.  A recent solution offered would have her paying the homeless people to remove their stuff.  She's not real crazy about that - and I can understand why.

I don't know what the solution to homelessness is, and I don't like people claiming to be victims - but in this case, this lady is truly a victim. 

That's my turn.  Now it's your turn.  To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at yourturn@wect.com.

Emailed response from viewers:

They should make the homeless clean that property without pay.  They lived there for quite some time and called that place home.  It's really sad this woman is being treated this way, being taken advantage of again.  Once was enough when she found out people were living on her property, but to be slapped in the face twice being told she had to pay 100 bucks a day if she didn't clean up?  Way to treat an honest citizen trying to make do in an already screwed up economy.

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I agree with you 100%. Where were the city police when this mess was being made? Could this kind of treatment be one reason that other countries don't want us telling them how to treat their citizens?

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I can not believe that Ms. Efird should be held responsible for something she did not do. Everyday people are not made to take responsibility for their actions. Maybe we should send some of the prisoners that do nothing all day down to clean it up.  Why didn't the police run the people off the property?  You are so right about this situation.

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I totally agree with Mr.McNair!  My heart has always gone out to the homeless and i support Good Shepard Ministries.  It is sad the world we are living on now has so many mothers and children that are homeless.  We need more places for the homeless to go as they need lots of help (Food, Housing, Clothes and especially medical for the children).  However, I am very ANGERED over the fact that this is private property and that people have TRASHED it.  I feel that the city spends money on so many needless things that they should clean this property up for free! The Police should monitor this situation to keep it from reacurring again.  Thank you for letting me speak my mind.

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Protect and serve? Perhaps the local police can help clean up the mess on the woman's property. Where did the homeless go, the Hilton?   

  These individuals are seen all over town, perhaps a little diligent police work will prevent them from setting up camp on some other poor soles property

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I think that the city needs to get a grip.  They need to find a better way to make up the budget deficit instead of doing something so stupid.  They should offer to help clean it up at no charge, or if possible, make the people that made the mess help clean it up.  It is not her fault that the homeless people made such a mess.   

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Maybe the lady could contact the NC Forestry Division and have them conduct a controlled burn on the property where the trash would be consumed by flames and the tract of land could be managed for undergrowth as well. Everybody wins.

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They shouldve waited for the homeless to show back up and put them to work for free!

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