PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The City of Philadelphia is preparing to move in to disassemble the homeless encampment on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Organizers are receiving warnings.
The clock is ticking as Philadelphia officials will soon offer a timeline to disassemble the homeless encampment.
“We’re in active conversations with the encampment and are looking forward to a resolution and expect that by mid-July,” City Managing Director Brian Abernathy said.
The encampment of about 100 people was formed nearly three weeks ago and has recently been the site of violence. Police are investigating a stabbing that occurred Sunday afternoon at the encampment.
City officials continue to negotiate with those living there, hoping to relocate them. Parkway neighbors have launched a petition asking for the encampment to be moved by next Monday in order to accommodate youth baseball in the area.
“We do have concerns about the encampment, about the health and safety of those who are currently living there, as well as the health and safety of the community and for the recreational activity of the kids that would normally use that field,” Abernathy said.
A portion of the group has split off to Housing Authority headquarters in North Philadelphia. City officials are aware of that site and are working to address concerns there.
Protesters could be seen trying to remove poles erected for fencing.
“They never communicated with any of the homeless individuals directly. They just started building fences around us,” one woman said.
“We may not be able to hit the mark for next Monday. But we certainly recognize that this situation is not something that can go on forever and we’ve made it clear that our expectation is that the encampment is removed this month,” Abernathy said.
The Philadelphia Housing Authority sent a statement to CBS3 Tuesday, saying in part: “This group is criminally trespassing, and quite frankly, are in the way of the preparation of construction of the first new shopping center in the Sharswood neighborhood in over 50 years.”