VIDEO & PHOTOS: Tent City Residents Protest in Red Square

ten city protest 2VIDEO & PHOTOS: “Saying that you can’t warm yourself is making living illegal, and you can’t make living illegal,” one of Tent City’s residents said to TLS today during a protest in Downtown’s Red Square.

About 30 people from the homeless encampment came out today to protest primarily the Township’s recent ordinance requiring the homeless to use propane as a substitute to firewood.

tent city protest 1The Township initially banned the use of firewood during the last Township Committee meeting when the ordinance was passed, but an extension of the implantation of the ordinance was issued until November 5 – tomorrow.

“We’re working with a couple of people who are donating a lot, but it’s not enough to warm everybody,” the resident told TLS.

The ordinance was passed after area residents complained that the smoke and smell was disrupting their quality of life. [TLS]

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37 COMMENTS

  1. A missed opportunity!

    If 30 were in town, they should have brought in the bulldozers. They need to go into proper facilities, especially for the winter.

  2. Its nice that they have the time during the day to do this while the rest of us work. How bout getting a job and earning some money to get a place. no, you just visit lakewood liquors every hour and walk back to your
    tent with your black plastic bag.

  3. It’s too bad there are no “proper facilities” for the homeless to go to in Ocean county. Everyone has the right to live in a safe environment, Obama didn’t give out that entitlement – it’s a human right defined by the United Nations that the US does not uphold as evidenced by encampments such as these. We do very little to help the homeless and impoverished help themselves and what little we do is constantly criticized and said to be too much! It’s shameful that the richest country in the world has people living in tents by the side of the road. We say go out and “get a job” but we don’t think about how difficult it is for someone with NOTHING to do that. Everyone thinks they have an answer but there is no simple solution. We need to take a look at ourselves and see what kind of people we have become that allow this to go on. We need to do more to help these people because the system we have is NOT working.

  4. OBAMA – please understand one thing:

    The person speaking to the video looks like a fine young man, talks regular – get a job!!! Those which can work GO work, those who can’t GET shelter, simple. Common Logic!

  5. MoshiachComeNow The person in the video is a nice young man and he does have a job. He is not homeless and does not live in tent city. Maybe you should not make comments about people you know nothing about.

  6. Why are these agitators protesting in Red Square? They should go down to Rental Assistance in Ocean Count and protest there. Why not go to Brick, Jackson, Toms River, and Howell to ask for free land? If they can pitch tents, can they lay concrete for foundations? Why did Lakewood give them robocans?

  7. The young man talking does have a job…..get your facts before you stereo type..and make ignorant comments…….For all you people wo human compassion….remember you really only in the end answer your maker……..

  8. Whatever your personal opinions are, keep in mind it’s cold out there and these people must be freezing!
    There are no shelters in Ocean County. What are these people to do? I feel so sorry for them.

  9. I guess the reason only 30 people came out is because the other 100 something people that live there are the drug users and ones with warrants.

  10. Some of us here do have jobs and are trying very hard to get ourselves back on our feet and to relocate from TC. However I am sure you are aware that it does take time. Especially when we have some people here that are idealist and are willing to give up anything for their ideals – even a second chance they will give up for ideals!!!

    Pickiting in Lakewood NJ will NOT do anything for homelessness!!

    BEING PROACTIVE AND SEEKING HELP AND A JOB WILL HELP HOMELESSNESS!!! This rally wont do a thing. Not cooperating with the TWP will neither help homelessness.

    And YES I will be the first to attest that its is not easy, but you gotta give it all you got – and thats what I am doing – unlike many others here that think one day Unlce Sam will buy them a mansion on the water for them to smoke up some drugs and drink some alcohol!!!!

  11. Not all those people in Tent City have drug and alcohol problems,some of them fell on hard times and no where to go besides a tent. Everyone is not perfect

  12. It’s called “RED Square”?????
    What is this….. Communist Russia????
    I thought it’s called TOWN Square….
    Can someone PLEASE explain…

  13. To 20 (anon) Yup thats why only 30 ppl showed up for the protest!! THE REST ARE ALL ON DRUGS!!!!!

    Brigham does not want the public to see the truth so he conceals it by only showing the relitivly speaking normal tent city reidents!!

    Think about this if they are protesting the existance of tent city and havinng heating in tent city this affect every single resident there WHY WERE THERE ONLY 30 PEOPLE???? SHOULDNT EVERY SINGLE ONE SHOW UP FOR SUCH A PROTEST ?!?!!?!? THIS MAY HAVE AN AFFECT OF THEIR ENTIRE EXISTANCE?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

    NOW THATS A GOOD QUESTION!!!

  14. When it was done over years ago it was called Town Square,then people from out of town moved in and started calling it Red Square It will always be Town Square to the people of Lakewood who have been here forever.

  15. The downtown has thousands of “RED BRICKS” hence the term red square, with never a thought of Russia. Don’t get so hung up on a nick name, town square, red square, town center, whatever ,we all know what they are talking about. Worry about what really counts. As far as the homeless, they have all been offered shelter, given the chance to get help, maybe they should pool up their funds and go south for the winter. Time to move them out, lets see some citizens resident complainers taxpayers whiners start PROTESTING to get them out.h

  16. Yes Mia and everyone else concerned about the safety of propane, we all know the dangers of this compressed liquified fuel but you’re missing the point entirely. The smoke from the burning wood stoves had become a major health hazard to the legal, tax paying residents in the area. There are children with asthma in the area that can’t even go outside to play because of the air quality, or lack thereof. I myself came down with bronchitis twice earlier this year, never having had this illness in the past my Dr said it could be brought on by continuous smoke exposure. On a chilly night or evening take a drive down Cedarbridge past tent city and you will encounter smoke so thick you can barely see 5′ in front of you. So not only is this smoke posing health hazards for residents but it also creates hazardous driving conditions. The folks in tent city may not care what they expose their lungs to but my family and I should not be forced to endure this health hazard by only opening a window or stepping out of my house.

  17. As the majority and political leadership in town, whether we like it or not, we’re responsible for Lakewood. All of it, including Lakewood residents who are living in Tent City.

    If they’re there over the winter, we should show that rachmanus and tzedaka are not just concepts we apply to our own. It wouldn’t kill us to collect sleeping blankets, coats, and propane tanks to help these people stay warm while The Powers That Be figure out a permanent solution.

    It’s one thing to say that we don’t want Tent City expanding. But with the Township claiming to have reduced TC to Lakewood residents, we should show compassion for our neighbors.

  18. Most of the people at the march are not from tent City. The minister Steve puts on a good show and makes people ( who dont really know what goes on at TC) think everyone at TC is a wonderful person who fell on hard times through no fault of their own. What a joke, most of the people at TC are heroin addicts , crack users, or other hard drugs . Very few are straight alcoholics. A few are there because they cant find a home that allows pets ( like the people with 200 chickens that run all over the place) .
    The people at TC were offered housing by Judge Foster, BUT Brigham refused it .
    I really commend Lakewood Scoop, because this news service is the only one who has enough fortitude and courage to confront TC about issues that affect the neighboring residents ( smoke, stabbings, drugs, etc) . Tent City really needs to be shut down NOW- get them housing NOW. I really fear for the safety of people ( both TC residents and the neighboring people ) when the town finally comes in and ends it all. Please end it!

  19. # 28, While I do respect your compassion, an overwhelming majority of these people in TC are drug addicts. Anything they can get for free will allow them more money for drugs. If you give them a $10 bill, they wont buy food- they will buy drugs. Making it easier for them to survive – is called enabling. Ask Social Services what they go through every day when people like this refuse to get legit jobs – because they want day work – so they can buy drugs everyday . By making it more difficult many of these addicts will return to their families seeking shelter. Hopefully the families will refuse shelter , but instead refer them to treatment facilities . If you really want to help , attend Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and find out how to provide lasting help. On a regular basis , the homeless when it gets cold will commit minor crimes(deliberately and openly) so they will be caught and they can be wintered over in jail ( not that many aren’t commiting crimes everyday by stealing from stores) . Tough love works far better and quicker than any form of sympathy. I have a degree in social work .

    • #31: You’re making some dubious-sounding assumptions. “…refuse to get legit jobs?” How many people are looking to hire a homeless, possibly mentally ill, substance abuser? “…many of these addicts will return to their families seeking shelter.” Do they have families? Do their families want anything to do with them?

      “On a regular basis , the homeless when it gets cold will commit minor crimes(deliberately and openly) so they will be caught and they can be wintered over in jail.” If that were true, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

      I’m not suggesting we hand out cash. But I don’t believe that people with good or easy options would spend the winter in the woods. And given that TC has survived several winters, your facile assumptions about what will happen if these people freeze don’t seem to have played out.

      A few dozen sleeping bags will not make a material difference in this big and complicated mess, beyond letting people who are staying there anyway keep warm at night.

      #35: I think you’re addressing #32. I said nothing about housing.

  20. The tall man to the right in the photo ( holding “This land is your land “sign) is the minister’s son, Steve Brigham Jr. The man to the far right is a resident and he has been profiled on the Tent City website before. He is a nice person, but needs assistance. Some of the others in the photos and videos are not from Tent City , nor do they live in Lakewood, Minister Steve Brigham Sr. goes all over the county finding these people , and women , to come and advocate for Tent City. Brigham Sr. does not want Tent City to end , despite being offered accomodations in hotel rooms, the industrial park and county owned land. If Brigham fought as hard to get a shelter , it would have been done years ago. People are getting tired of donating to the tent people because nothing changes. They will be here as long as Judge Foster allows it .

  21. Not only do children , the elderly and infirm suffer because of smoke inhalation from Tent City, it is very difficult for motorists to see down Cedar Bridge Ave because the smoke is so thick it obscures your view. This has caused accidents in the past , and in some instances has put the safety of the Tent City residents in jeopardy as they cross the road . Many of them also suffer from the smoke , and they get respiratory illnesses just like people on the outside from the firewood smoke. Its a lose- lose situation .

  22. One person you no longer see at Tent City rallies is Greg , who was friend of the minister , who often came to Tent City , delivering supplies and helping keep down the violence and disputes at the campsite. Greg was hit by a car, while trying to assist other campers who were injured after they were struck by a car. Greg B . lost his leg and has never been back. Minister Steve seems to have forgotten him.

  23. To#28 Nechama No one has been offered housing. That is a lie to say Minister Steve denied it.

    To anon-No one has forgotten Greg, he is a wonderful man who has done so much for so many. Last I had talked to Rev.Steve about him someone in Greg’s family asked the Rev to limit contact after the injury for whatever reason and the request was respected.

  24. Nechama,
    There is a middle aged man with a dog “Petey” who is a decent guy and probably could use a sleeping bag and some extra food for the dog. He was interviewed about getting medication for his dog. He can not work- older age – not a drug addict. I will try to help him out also. It would be nice if the Jewish community could assist the few Jews taht are in Tent city. One in particualr needs work ,but he does not wear a hat all the time, so it may be hard to pick him out at thetown lot. I am trying my best to help those I can but am also expereincing hard times.

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