Groups helping homeless say most who lived at Owensboro ‘tent city’ site left

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OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) – We’re learning more about some camping tents set up near an Owensboro park.

They were placed in a wooded area just outside of English Park along the Owensboro riverfront.

There were several tents still up as of Wednesday afternoon. Some groups who help the area’s homeless say nearly everyone who lived here has moved out.

“I think it happens from time to time in a lot of different areas. As it grows and it starts to grow attention, but it’s been known to happen from time to time,” said Harry Pedigo, Executive Director of Saint Benedict’s Homeless Shelter in Owensboro. He also says the reasons people lived in these tents varied, and the land owners asked those living in the tents to leave. Pedigo, and city officials, estimate a few dozen lived there, but many found other places at Owensboro area shelters or elsewhere. Some who live near English Park grew concerned about the tent city.

“It’s important to remember that everybody is valued. Everybody has a level of self worth, a right to speak up for themselves. I think the concern of that tent city from the residents and some in the community was a valid concern,” Pedigo says.

Kathy Sago’s group, The Helping Hands, helped people at the tent city until a few weeks ago after some bad encounters. She, and Pedigo, say the best way to help those in need is letting them know of available resources for them.

“We can all come together with and help these people get a better life if we just, you know, knew how to address them what their needs,” she said.

“If we’re telling them where to get fed, where they can go to find shelter, where they can go to get a shower, then we provide them with solutions, not ‘Here’s a band-aid and continue to reside here, but here’s a solution. You don’t have to live like this,'” Pedigo added.

As for when this area will be cleaned up, officials say they’re unsure when exactly that will happen or how it will be done.

(This story was originally published on January 27, 2021)

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