According to the Charlotte Observer , Mecklenburg County has ordered anyone who lives in the sprawling tent encampment in uptown to vacate in three days, citing a need to clear a rodent infestation there.
The nuisance abatement order took effect at 5 p.m. Tuesday, giving residents until 5 p.m. Friday to leave. County officials said they are working with area shelter organizations to make room for people leaving the camps.
“We have taken this action out of an abundance of caution to protect the health of encampment residents,” Public Health Director Gibbie Harris said in a statement Tuesday. Harris signed and issued the order.
The camps, on the edge of uptown in the areas of 12th, Graham and College Streets, have been an increasingly visible symbol of the housing crisis amid the COVID-19 pandemic. While unsheltered homelessness existed before last year, the number of tents in the area has grown.
Some residents at the camps and advocates providing direct aid services have told the Observer that many people are hesitant to enter shelter programs, particularly during the pandemic. Others are unwilling to separate from partners, pets or possessions.