Ontario Tent City Residents To Be Kicked Out Monday
POSTED: 5:07 pm PDT March 14, 2008
UPDATED: 5:27 pm PDT March 14, 2008
ONTARIO, Calif. -- Each day at an Ontario homeless encampment, hundreds of people line up for meals or whatever food local churches and volunteers may bring, KNBC's Mary Parks reported.
"They're in a survival mode," said volunteer Paul Varner. "All they can think about is the safety and out of the weather."
During the last six months, more than 400 homeless people have pitched tents near Ontario Airport, creating a "tent city" that sprawls across vacant lots and side streets.
For many people, it was shelter from the elements and better than sleeping under bridges.
By Monday, anyone who can't verify they are locals will be bused to the cities they came from, Parks reported.
Tent city resident Akimi Onyemes said his official residence is Riverside.
"You're busy all day, dealing with dirt, trash, going to fetch water," Onyemes said.
Of the 400 people, about 140 have been documented as locals.
Patty Barnes said she couldn't pay rent after her husband died, so she was evicted and walked to Ontario from Fontana.
"All I want is a little help. I get $800 a month disability. You can't find a place for that. It's not possible," Barnes said.
"Why is this happening?" said Upland resident Edna Silver, who stopped by to donate blankets. "It shouldn't be happening. We're one of the richest countries in the world and we've got people living here -- like this."
By Monday, those allowed to stay will be issued wristbands and offered county services to get back on their feet.
Hitler gve the people marked for extinction arm bands and wrist bands.