Lakewood’s Red Square Gets New Look in Effort to Discourage Homelessness, Make Downtown More Attractive [PHOTOS]

In an effort to discourage homeless people from gathering and sleeping under the trees in Lakewood‘s Red (Town) Square, the Township has gotten rid of all the trees and cleaned up the area.

Lakewood Mayor Ray Coles tells TLS many residents have been avoiding the downtown area due to the activities going on in red Square.

The Mayor says some of the homeless have been defecating and urinating inside the square and between vehicles, and many people – especially females – have been harassed while walking near the square.

In conjunction with the Lakewood Police Department, the Township came up with the plan to help rectify the situation.

“All the homeless people living in town Square are eligible for section 8 vouchers,” Mayor Coles told TLS. “They just don’t fill out the forms.”

Coles says Mike McNiel of the STEPS organization has been working on trying to get these people permanent housing, but they refuse.

“Nobody should be uncomfortable walking downtown, or have to worry about stepping into something,” Coles said. “We want a family friendly environment.”

The Township will be replacing the trees with other plantings.

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  1. Just put up a section 8 highrise building there, then in 15 years will have projects like the Bronx.. isn’t that what Lakewood wants?

  2. Now that their trees have been cut down, maybe the homeless will take refuge from the sun, and use the bathroom, in Bagel Nosh.
    Maybe an attorney will sue the township for them, for money to pay for enough food to sit in Bagel Nosh the entire day.
    Were any of the vagrants even charged with public defecation?
    Did any woman, or man, go to the police about anything said or done to her/him by one of the homeless?

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