Fighting for right 2015
A report of an unstable building made Atlantic City’s tent city short-lived.
City officials responded Thursday morning to a vacant lot on Connecticut Avenue in the Inlet section owned by Haven/Beat the Street Inc., then asked the organization to take down tents that had been set up to house homeless residents because of a unsafe building next door, said Paul Hulse, a spokesman for Haven/Beat the Street, Inc.
Just before noon Thursday, Atlantic City police were dispatched after getting a call about an unstable building. They notified Hulse and Bill Southrey, also of the Haven/Beat the Street ministry, to remove the tents for the homeless as a safety precaution.
“They were concerned and said if someone stays in a tent, the building could fall on them,” Hulse told The Press of Atlantic City.
No one was living in the tents, which were pitched on the lot Nov. 30, Hulse said.
The tent city is a joint venture with Haven/Beat the Street Inc. and Lands for the Homeless in Ocean and Monmouth County operated by Director Tyler Dean, Hulse said.
A caller told police he heard a cracking noise coming from the building and was concerned that high winds would cause the side of the building to fall on some tents that were set up in the vacant lot next to the building.
The city’s building inspector, city engineer, code enforcement officer and the fire department responded and determined that the building’s structural integrity had been compromised and presented a threat to public safety.
Deputy Police Chief William Mazur was at the property and requested signage and yellow barricade tape to keep pedestrians from walking near the building. All but two tents were removed from the vacant lot next to the building.
The city has decided to quickly demolish the property.
Tent City Atlantic City authorities closed down tent city on Connecticut Ave in Atlantic City Thursday, Dec 3, 2015.
Page 1 of 2Atlantic City tent city disman tled, threatened by unstable building
Hulse said as soon as the building is demolished, the tents will go back up.
“The police came today and said they taped off the area and plan on demolishing the building tomorrow. The building is next to our property (lot) so for safety they said could you take down the tents until we get the building down,” Hulse said.
Hulse said he and Southrey were aware the building needed to be torn down before it was reported to police.
Haven/Beat the Street, Inc. owns an apartment building at the corner of Connecticut and Arctic avenues, but it is located far enough away down the block that the apartment building wouldn’t be damaged if the older building fell, Hulse said.
“We do plan on putting tents back and continue with our setting that we are proposing as Bill (Southrey) has been pushing,” Hulse said. “It seemed like they were just trying to keep them (people) safe and we’re about safety as well. As soon as we get the clear, we will put the tents back up.”
Page 2 of 2Atlantic City tent city disman tled, threatened by unstable building