BANGOR — City workers began cleaning up a homeless encampment near the waterfront early Tuesday morning. Despite the city citing safety reasons for the order, the move has left many of those affected with concern and uncertainty.
The city issued an ordinance to have the encampment area under the Interstate 395 overpass removed by Tuesday.
“Lots of people had to move from here, but where are they going to go?” asked Aly, who was removed.
That’s the question most residents are asking.
Aly has been staying in the homeless encampment under the bridge of Interstate 395 overpass since the end of the summer.
“Sentimental values is one of the most painful things to lose. You have something for years and years or something from someone who recently passed away, then you lose it so it hurts,” said Aly. “We already have it rough enough.”
Aly said she’s possibly going to find another encampment area but isn’t too sure of where to turn.
City officials said they want people to leave the area because it would be challenging for emergency vehicles to reach.
Since 8 a.m., the Bangor Police Department, along with Public Works and the Parks and Recreation department were cleaning out the area.
“Today’s activity went well. Folks have been cooperative with us,” said Tracy Willette, director of the Bangor Parks and Recreation Department.
“We were able to have our outreach folks and homeless coordinator down here as well. Today’s activity went as well as it could have,” he said.
Terry Dinkins is the pastor for the Mansion Church who has been providing resources to the homeless since the pandemic began.
“People should show compassion. They are human beings. So we are very blessed to do that as a church,” said Dinkins.
“I’m challenging other pastors in our area to really consider opening their building up or contact me so we can figure out how you can help also,” he said.
Dinkins said the Mansion Church has a warming center and all are welcome.