Encampment residents evicted in Waynesboro speak out about where they will live come Tuesday

Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 11:19 PM EST
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WAYNESBORO, Va. (WHSV) - A group of people in Waynesboro are trying to find another place to live after they were given a week to leave the property they had been staying on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Waynesboro’s Mayor, Lana Williams said the Waynesboro Police Department assisted a property owner with individuals trespassing on private property.

The property is referred to as “Tent City,” and people staying there said it has been a homeless encampment site for years, but that is about to change.

“It’s not fair to tell a bunch of people who already have nowhere to go you have until Tuesday to get everything that you have, that you have left in the world and leave,” Kara, one of the people living in the encampment said.

She tells me she has been staying at the encampment for a few months now.

Kara said she landed here after a divorce led her to jump from house to house and she eventually settled here with friends for the time being.

“There’s really nice good people here who are just down on their luck,” Kara said.

She said she didn’t plan on this being her forever home, but with just a week’s notice, she says she doesn’t know where she will go come Tuesday.

“We were just like everybody else once, we’ve owned homes, we have children, we went to school we have jobs, we have careers, we went to college you know just because we’ve lost certain things ... that doesn’t mean we’ve lost ourselves as people,” Kara said.

Another woman living in the encampment said the limited housing and long waitlist are hurting those who need it most.

“There’s a long list to get on in, right now I’m at the bottom and I know some people said it’s been like a year and they’re still waiting for an apartment so I don’t think there’s enough resources at all for apartments or housing for homeless people in Waynesboro,” Krissy said.

Advocates for those experiencing homelessness in Waynesboro said the waitlist is more than 400 for affordable housing in the city.

Krissy said the eviction on Tuesday came as a shock.

“One of the officers was like I need to tell you what’s going on and you have this such and such time to get out of here and I was like well I want to get all my stuff,” Krissy said.

Williams said Waynesboro PD gave those living in the encampment resources to help them find a place to live, but those at the encampment on Tuesday said they have yet to find a permanent place to go.