Charleston Tent City dismantled

Charleston Mayor Danny Jones has compromised the trust of his residents and personal credibility after making the decision Tuesday to dismantle Charleston’s Tent City and evict approximately 20 to 30 homeless residents from their makeshift abodes without warning.

Waste Management, which owns the property where Tent City stands, filed a complaint with Jones, citing workers’ growing concerns over the interactions with the “disorderly occupants,” fires lit by the homeless residents and other liabilities.

For residents of Tent City, however, the news came as a shock.

According to Charleston Gazette-Mail reports, the Tent City community had graciously received donations from other residents who were concerned for their safety in the winter storm projected for this weekend.

By Tuesday, their community had been carelessly torn apart.

Those who have personally worked with members of Huntington’s homeless community should be disgusted and heartbroken by the lack of sympathy on Jones’ behalf. Not all homeless residents refuse shelter services because of addictions; some have pets that are often prohibited from entering the facilities.

Would you leave your beloved pets outside in subzero temperatures? I’d hope not.

As mayor of the state’s capital, Jones took on the responsibility to create a safe environment for all of Charleston’s citizens; not just the elite. Not everyone has the option to drive home to a fireplace or fully insulated living quarters.

Jones doesn’t even offer a solution for this crisis. He views the population as strays:

“People think if you disperse a bunch of folks that have camped out like that, the problem goes away. No, the problem just goes somewhere else,” Jones said in an interview with the Gazette-Mail. “They’ll wind up somewhere else — maybe on people’s porches, maybe in peoples yards — and we get those complaints and have to shoo them off.”

With little time to scramble into a warm facility or space before the snowstorm starts, it’s not likely that the 400 residents will all find safety, but we can only hope they do.

As for this weekend’s storm, temperatures are expected to be as frigid as Jones’ heart.