City says it has found new possible location for homeless encampment

(WHAM photo)

Rochester, N.Y. – A Rochester homeless encampment at the center of controversy could soon be moving. The city says it has found a more welcoming location.

For many living in the encampment, outside is home. They welcome the idea of having an outdoor space to live in the city, where they aren’t trespassing.

A number of people continue to live along South Avenue on Spectrum’s property in Rochester, a place they know they aren’t wanted. The city has been working with local advocate groups to find another location.

And they did: A piece of land on Industrial Street, off of West Broad Street.

“it’s good. You know, something that we’ve needed,” said one person who lives at the encampment, who asked to remain anonymous. He added, “I’m from outdoors, so indoors just isn’t for me. Other people have different problems of that, you know.”

“It does need a little bit of site work,” said James Smith, Communications Director for the City of Rochester. ‘But our objective is to ensure we don’t continue to have these conflicts that have had issues in the past, so we can begin the process of helping these folks with services and, ultimately, our goal is to find people quality, more traditional housing options.”

Smith says the land will eventually be owned and operated by homeless advocates, not the city. The plan is still in its preliminary stages, and there is no timeline at this point.

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