WV Press InSight Videos

Charleston’s Tent City homeless numbers dwindle

Sunday Gazette-Mail photo by F. Brian Ferguson James “Ace” Everett, 72, walks among the tents and clotheslines of Tent City, a homeless encampment near the Spring Street Bridge, in Charleston.
Sunday Gazette-Mail photo by F. Brian Ferguson
James “Ace” Everett, 72, walks among the tents and clotheslines of Tent City, a homeless encampment near the Spring Street Bridge, in Charleston.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Along the Elk River sits a small community made of tents and tarps.

Many of Charleston’s homeless congregate here, on the riverbank known as Tent City.

Tent City has its own set of rules, its own standards. There are sets of friends here, and lovers.

But, no one here has a permanent home.

At least not yet.

In the summer, there were 25 people living at the encampment next to the Spring Street Bridge. The Charleston-Kanawha Housing Authority, using federal money, has given 14 of them housing vouchers, said Traci Strickland, director of the Kanawha Valley Collective, a nonprofit that addresses homelessness and poverty.

Between six and eight people live in Tent City now. Some of those people are transient — just passing through Charleston — but out of the four remaining from the summer, two are on their way to having apartments.

“Basically, the other people that have been staying down there really just haven’t wanted assistance with housing,” Strickland said.

One tells Strickland he has a place to go if he wants or needs one. Workers haven’t been able to engage with the others to figure out their situations.

“If you really think about it, living in a shelter can be quite difficult…

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter