Housing offered for homeless displaced from Chattanooga's "Tent City"

Some of Chattanooga's homeless displaced from Tent City will soon be transitioning to permanent housing. (Image: WTVC)

Right now the City of Chattanooga is working to find homes for the homeless.

A temporary shelter is about to close for those who were displaced from Tent City back in April.

By the end of the month, the city of Chattanooga says nearly all of the people left at the shelter will have permanent housing.

150 people were living at Tent City off East 11th Street when the land was deemed contaminated and unsafe.

Since then, 92 of the former residents have been accepted into public housing on a priority basis.

"I had a tent there when there weren't 100 tents out there," said Allen Beck, who's been homeless for four years.

"I thought it was going to be my home," Al Stovall said. "I had my own tent and was putting my barbecue grill up, was told we cannot stay there."

Both Al and Allen have been staying at the temporary shelter operated by the Salvation Army, and paid for by the city. About 18 people are currently staying there.

Beck wants people to know homelessness can happy to anyone.

"Like I said I had everything."

From April 23 to the end of this month, the city will have paid nearly $49,500 for the temporary emergency shelter.

"I think the city is doing a real good job," Stovall said.

He says he served our country in the Army for 10 years.

"I've been to Vietnam, I've been to Germany, France, Italy and Norway."

He ended up homeless after his house caught fire. He will soon be transitioning from the shelter into a group home.

"It's nice," Stovall said.

"We certainly have been celebrating as each of them get their keys to their apartment, what a wonderful celebration that is," says Kimberly George with the Salvation Army.

The city says when the shelter closes June 30, most of the people left will have a choice to transition to public housing, or stay at the Chattanooga Rescue Mission.

Meanwhile, the Salvation Army is offering a day shelter on McCallie Avenue for people to get out of the heat.

It opens at 1 p.m. every day, but hours will be extended as needed.

George says they've been getting hundreds of calls from people asking for help with the heat.

They offer bottled water, boxed fans, and a cool place to stay during the hottest part of the day.

"Coming into air conditioning, cooling off, helps their body temperature go down, also their heart rate and we can keep them hydrated as well because that can also be a health risk," George said.

The Salvation Army is in need of bottled water and new boxed fans to hand out to those in need.

Donations can be dropped off at the Salvation Army's downtown location on McCallie Avenue.

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