PHOTO: Homelessness in Lakewood

Despite the removal of Tent City several years ago, homelessness still remains in Lakewood.

This photo was taken in an alleyway in Downtown Lakewood.

While it’s a sad sight to see, the sadder part is that many of these people seen in Downtown Lakewood refuse help.

In August, TLS reported about the Township’s decision to remove the trees from Red Square in an effort to discourage homeless people from gathering there.

So why are there still homeless people in Downtown Lakewood?

“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.

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  1. Homelessness will not be solved by filling out forms or tent cities. There are comprehensive programs across the country that provide housing, medical, and psychological support. The VA is ramped up its homeless vet program for the new year and is providing placement, programing and support to homeless vets. Pick a plan of action, tailor it to your towns homeless census, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel.

  2. Holding a section 8 list lottery drawing for the hundredth time is not what I call voucher availability. Most of the homeless people downtown are either drug addicted or alcoholics. If they are given shelter how do you think they’ll be able to pay to live?

  3. No one chooses homelessness. If you removed the tent city and you have a homeless problem, the town is clearly not doing enough to help resolve the problem.

  4. Homeless people are not outdoors by accident. The majority of these people choose to live the way they do and they will never conform to the edicts of society nor it’s politicians. These people just want to get high.

    • “Never” is a strong word. Addiction is not a choice , it is a disease. It is also not the only problem the person usually has. Mental illness plays a role too. There’s enough money in this community to help. a better answer is to let the community know what and how they can help. That homeless person can be anyone at anytime.

  5. this is not an alley, this is private property. How does the township get away with this? They clear town square so private business owners have to deal with squatters on their property?

  6. Outreach Do not give them a choice. Drug user rehab. Mental illness Psych hosp, etc. Bye leaving it up to the homeless nothing will change. Their lives and the lives of lakewood citizens are in danger. Disease, crime etc. PLEDGE this population. It is time to get tuff. By doing so we are helping everyone involved.

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