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25 Degrees Outside: People Live In Outdoor Tents In Greensboro

12:28 AM, Jan 26, 2013   |    comments
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Greensboro, NC-About 100 people live on the streets in Greensboro. A group of 10 stay together in a "tent city" not far from downtown.

Not far from downtown Greensboro at Spring Garden St. and Freeman Mill Rd., about 8-10 people live outside together in the woods. Right now, during the winter months, it's all men.

The men each live in their own tent. A few have huts with a wood frame. They put tarps around their tents. Inside they have sleeping bags, blankets, and a few changes of clothes.

Living in what they call a "tent city" is a better alternative than alone under a bridge. They even chose this life over the city's homeless and emergency shelters.

"It's like a little community. We all help each other," said Tommy, one of the residents in "tent city".

Joey, another resident said, "I like everything about being here. It's where's I'm supposed to be I guess."

The shelters have a time limit of 67 days. Most of the shelters only allow overnight access.

"You can only stay so many days and then you get kicked back to the street," added Tommy.

Street Watch is a group that helps people living in "tent cities".

"I think that most people would like to live inside if that was something that they could do. A lot of people have multiple obstacles to living inside so they kind of lose hope," explained Michele Forrest, the Co-Founder of Street Watch.

Street Watch helps the people right now with things like blankets, tents, tarps, warm clothing, and food.

They also help them for a better future too by getting them access to things like substance abuse treatment, mental health treatment, and medical treatment.

For Michele and her team, it's about maintaining friendships with "tent city" residents.

"It's a lot easier to help somebody do the next thing when you have a relationship with them especially when they have such overwhelming issues in their life."

Michele Forest said there are three tent cities in Greensboro. She thinks there are roughly 100 people living in the streets.

Learn how to help or donate by clicking here: Street Watch

WFMY News 2

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