'Tent City' for Residents Only

<p>A "tent city" established in the Southern California city of Ontario for occupation by homeless people has been temporarily shut down as city officials and police attempt to evict people without clear ties to the city.</p>
March 27, 2008, 9am PDT | Nate Berg
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"After months of chaotic growth, the homeless encampment known as Tent City dramatically shrank Monday as Ontario police evicted those who lacked ties to the city."

"Starting early in the morning, officers moved through dusty lots scattered with flapping tents and piles of old clothes and garbage. In many cases they were too late; the people had already left."

"Bulldozers and backhoes were brought in to grade a large field where tents once sat. A fence will go up around the 2.5-acre lot in about three weeks, and those who have been issued photo identification cards will be allowed in, Higbee said. In the meantime, they will be staying in tents across the street."

"Tent City began last July when Ontario set aside an area where its local homeless could rest without being hassled. It rapidly grew from 20 to more than 400 people -- some from as far away as Florida. People put up tents and parked decrepit motor homes along the streets. Parolees and probationers found their way to the site, which is near Ontario International Airport."

"Officials, who intended the place for local people, feared Tent City was getting out of control and would turn into a new skid row. They decided to limit it to 170 people who had either lived in the city or had immediate family ties to Ontario."

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Published on Tuesday, March 25, 2008 in The Los Angeles Times
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