Organizers Of 2 Philadelphia Homeless Encampments Say They Have No Plans To Leave After City Orders Everyone Out By Tuesday Morning

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The clock is ticking. Those living at two homeless encampments in Philadelphia must be out come 9 a.m. Tuesday.

The eviction notice was posted Monday after weeks of failed negotiations. But not all city leaders support the move.

Philadelphia Housing Action, the organizing group behind the two homeless encampments, says there are no plans to vacate the locations. In fact, they have requested more people arrive Monday night to take up residence and secure barricades for Tuesday morning.

By 9 a.m. Tuesday, homeless individuals who have taken up residence in the two encampments must vacate.

The notice was given Monday morning, over two months after the site was formed on a baseball field on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. It has since grown to contain upwards of 120 people, with a secondary encampment at 20th and Ridge Streets.

Organizers regard the sites as active protests over issues of affordable housing, refusing to leave without the city meeting a set of demands.

An earlier July 10 deadline to clear out was postponed for negotiations, where the city had agreed to several housing options and a community land trust.

“The continued shifting of camp leaders’ demands, and the fact that some of their repeated demands are out of the City’s control, or unachievable in the time frame that they demand, all contribute to this difficult decision,” Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement.

In a Monday night letter to the mayor, City Councilmembers Kendra Brooks and Jamie Gauthier requested the mayor reconsider.

“We worry that clearing the city’s two protest encampments after so much work has already been done will undoubtedly make those commitments more difficult to realize,” the letter reads.

A city spokesperson says they are hopeful that compliance will be voluntary. Outreach officers will be providing storage for belongings and transportation to housing.

During the past two months, neighbors have shared their concerns about signs of addiction and violence they have seen from within the camp on the parkway.

According to the city, once people leave the encampment, the field will be cleaned and reseeded.