PHOTOS: Former Tent City Residents Petition Freeholders for Free Land During Town Square Rally

rally 3PHOTOS: ‘All we need is land.’ That was the message former Tent City residents were trying to convey to politicians duringĀ a rally today at Lakewood’s Town Square.

“With the brutal destruction of Lakewood’s Tent City, the number of homeless people in Ocean County is drastically increasing,” the flyer invitations to the event stated. “Instead of having an organized camp with relatively greater safety and quality of life, they are now living in alleyways and under bridges, without access to hygiene and sanitation.”

rally 1Tent City’s founder Minister Steve Brigham, along with other former residents of the closed encampment are petitioning to Ocean County’s Freeholders to donate a public piece of land “for the purpose of establishing a safe residential community for the homeless and low-income individuals.”

rally 2The homeless encampment’s was completely vacated on July 3rd, a week after encampment was officially shut. [TLS]


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  1. Didn’t the local and state governments arrange for housing for the occupants of tent city ? why are they crying for land ? Since when does the government give free land to developers ? Why are they any different ?

  2. I also don’t own any property. Can I get free land too? Where does the line start?

    If I get a buncha my friends to get colorful placards and make a lot of noise in the downtown square will that better my chances??

  3. Wjy dont they request from Toms River, Jackson, Brick, Lacey, Little Egg Harbor, Waretown. See what these townships say. They dont request request from them or even go to those townships because they know the answer will be a resounding no!!!!

  4. hey used to have a full time job until i got unemployed after 11 years at a company. Although i made a living, after taxes, healthcare for the family, and tuition i could not afford to purchase a home. Can I have a free piece of land so i can build a home?

    What happened to the stipend they were all given and the arrangements for living they had a choice to take. Now that they did not follow through and some have blown the stipend away on gambling in Ac- now they want a 3rd chance with a free piece of land??? Ever heard the story of crying wolf? This is why offering any stipend or any free land is useless. LET them approach social services find them a roof and a job that they must show up at and then get food stamps, health care,,,Oh they had a chance many times when social service was there.

    You can ony help those who ttuly want to help and live with a roof over their heads.

  5. Safe as in no tents, no propane tanks, no drugs, built in accordance of code and zoning. Its called Lakewood commons, apply for the lottery. Oh you want someone to pay for the construction too? To spend tens thousands of dollar per dwelling just for you? Should tax payers just lineup and give you a house?

  6. All I need is land too, and then I can build. But before I can do that I have to earn and save up a lot of money for many years like everyone else in this world. We’re all equal. You don’t deserve any free gifts.

  7. We have low income housing available to those who qualify. We have the one of the largest Section 8 housing authorities in the country. It is necessary, however to apply and qualify. This money is not given to those who have criminal records. This money is not given to those who will not pay their portion of rent on time. This money is not given for tents…it is given for appropriate housing. The local government did offer temporary (for 1 year) housing to all of the registered Tent City residents. It was not forced upon them, however. So now that Tent City is closed, they are crying. They are making believe that they are still homeless. These people are homeless by choice. They did not accept the gift they were offered and for those not offered it they were not allowed to reside in Tent City in the first place and should contact the shelter local to where they came from to secure housing. Lakewood only has homeless flocking here by the tens because we have a reputation here for allowing things like Tent City to happen. As soon as we buckle down and stop giving in to the “homeless out of towners” demands, we will stop becoming the place where they choose to settle.

  8. i was thinkning the same as Avi , isnt this breach of agreement as everyone was placed , so the intention was not to have housing its to have a homeless camp

  9. What you all fail to see is the fact that Ocean County needs a homeless shelter. The rally was for the Freeholders, not Lakewood.

  10. Their point not made in the article, is that these people are not being served by any other programs and this was the MOST cost effective model of housing people in distress. Tent City saved the taxpayers millions of dollars over the years.

    Joe, There are tent encampments in Toms River.

  11. If their real intention was to protest to the Freeholders so they can get free land, they should have gone to the Ocean County complex on Hooper & Washington in Toms River. There’s a nice big square right in front of the Courthouse and available for noisemaking on every Sunday.

    These Tent Squatters (from across the country and overseas) have cost the taxpayers way too much money already. I never even heard one thank-you from any of them for all we’ve done and spent on them all these years. Shame on them!

    It’s time to finally take back our tax dollars so we can afford to repair and build the proper infrastructure Lakewood so desperately needs.

  12. Hey Truth
    The Office of ThevFreeholders is located at 101 Hoopers ave in TOMS RIVER.
    Mr reverand only wants this to be about LAKEWOOD. if this was truly about demonstrating against the freeholders he should’ve protested in Toms River.

  13. I have a great idea, the property a Lakewood school was going to build in Jackson can be sold to them, the nice people in Jackson will surly welcome them with open arms

  14. Joe, I am impressed. That’s a fantastic idea! Jackson has 100 square miles of land! They certainly would have no qualms about hosting a whole bunch of squatters at one of their many public lands.

  15. # 23,

    To insinuate that residents are not compassionate after tolerating the squatter’s gimmicks and criminal activities for years and diverting many of our tax dollars and services at the cost of not being able to afford other vital needs for the town’s children — is worse than disgraceful. It’s worse than being low and ungrateful. It’s worse than spitting at the hand that provided for you for so many years!

    How dare anyone complain about the tremendous patience and compassion shown by the local government and taxpayers!!

    Why have these anarchists refused to even try this absurd game elsewhere in Ocean County? It is because they’re scared that Toms River, Jackson, Brick, Lacey, Little Egg Harbor, and Waretown won’t be nearly as compassionate!!

  16. There is no way I would spend another winter in a tent – thanks for the free rent for a year – going back to school in September for my CDL . Thanks to Mayor Akerman for giving me a hand up that will help me – not a permanent handout ( like TC ) that will ensnare me in poverty and make me dependant on the minister again. Going to AA and NA – clean ever since I left TC.

  17. They were protesting downtown Toms River last week. Don’t just read one super short article and think you know what is going on with them.

    I’m amazed at the difference in reactions between people using public land vs. cattle using public land out west!

Comments are closed.