VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - The homeless "tent city" in the Seatack section of Virginia Beach looked like a ghost-town Monday morning after an official eviction notice posted on trees at the site advised the campers to seek other arrangements.
"The enforcement of the no trespass requirement that's been agreed to by the property owners is being done by the police department, and those are the official requirements that you can't be on the property," said Director of Housing and Neighborhood Preservation Andrew Friedman.
Police won't start arresting anyone for trespassing until Wednesday, giving homeless campers one more day to pack up anything from the site that they want to keep.
The site off Loretta Lane is private property, so the city is not responsible for cleaning it.
However, the city can impose fines and restrictions on the property owner if the mess is not cleaned within 30 days.
"We're expecting voluntary action by them. We're looking forward to it, and that's what we hope to see," said Friedman.
Closing the area will not address the needs of the homeless, but city leaders said Virginia Beach is doing what it can at a time when resources are scarce.
"We have just on Wednesday an opening of 20 new beds, 22 new beds at the Judeo-Christian Outreach Center. That's a result of several years of work. We have six other vouchers available for homeless persons to get permanent housing," said Friedman.
According to George Minns, who heads the Seatack Civic League, the homeless have already set up camps off Southern Boulevard and Bells Road. Both are close to the site on Loretta Lane.
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