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Efforts Continue to Find Homes for Akron Tent City Dwellers

photo of Scond Chance Village
As of last week, two dozen people were still living in the tent city.

The city of Akron won’t force homeless people to move out of a tent city in the Middlebury neighborhood by Thanksgiving.

In September, city council rejected property owner Sage Lewis’s request to rezone the land and allow the tent city to remain. Lewis had sixty days to clear the property. As of last week 25 people remained.

Mayor Dan Horrigan says the city’s been working with a variety of community agencies who are part of the Continuum of Care to find placements for all of them and does not intend to evict them this week.

"Hopefully there won’t have to be an enforcement action and the property will be used according to its correct zoning and people will be into the housing that’s outside of a tent. That’s not Thursday let’s put it that way."  

The mayor would not comment on a lawsuit that’s been filed by Lewis over the matter. Lewis is working with the Institute for Justice, a Virginia nonprofit, claiming he owns the property and should be able to use it as he wants.

Attorney Diana Simpson from the Institute for Justice says they're prepared to seek an emergency court order if necessary should the city try to move the homeless out.