[Hpn] Homeless village EVICTED in Atlanta - to deter terrorism ? / GA USA (fwd)

Tom Boland wgcp@earthlink.net
Tue, 9 Oct 2001 22:47:39 -0700 (PDT)

FWD  Asociated Press - AP Wire Service - Sep 27 2001


ATLANTA (AP) _ A subdivision of multiroom homes with basements,
running water, electricity and a community pool of sorts had become
a haven for homeless Atlantans.

Homeless residents had built homes, hooked pipes into the
hydrants to get running water and used a gasoline-powered generator
for electricity.

But Atlanta's homeless were left looking for a new home
Wednesday after the Department of Transporation demolished their
makeshift village.

DOT spokeswoman Vicki Gavalas said the cleanup of the homeless
neighborhood was part of an ongoing effort to improve visibility by
clearing debris and underbrush from around metro bridges and

She said the routine cleanup program has been intensified by
security concerns following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

``Just think of the havoc to our transportation system if
someone were to bomb a bridge over the Downtown Connecter,''
Gavalas said.

DOT had to seek police help after residents allegedly pulled
knives on workers cleaning up the trash, said Gavalas. It also
called upon the Ambassador Force, a business-funded hospitality
patrol, to assist the displaced.

Cleanup crews found furniture, a generator, 30 gallons of
gasoline, cellphones, radios, televisions, handguns, and drugs,
including crack cocaine, in the community that had sprouted up
under the I-20 bridge over Washington Street near the Capitol.

Five men and three women were arrested on charges including
trespassing or possessing stolen goods, illegal drugs or
unregistered handguns, police said.

David Tyler, 41, of Atlanta, was charged with possession of
three handguns and 100 doses of crack cocaine, police said. Two of
the four handguns confiscated had been stolen, said Ambassador
Force Director Wayne Mock.

Several residents were taken to a homeless resource center for
referrals to shelters, Mock said. But many fled.

``There were people pushing away grocery carts loaded with
belongings as the crews arrived,'' Gavales said.


AP-CS-09-27-01 2332EDT
Received  Id AP1012703756353A on Sep 27 2001 22:35


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