A large green tent sits on a small lot on 11th Street between Lindbergh and Illinois streets. Passersby may recognize the tent. It is the same one that was used during Occupy Bloomington about a year ago.
Homeless people are now using the tent. About 40 people slept there Wednesday night.
The owners of the property gave their consent for the camp to be set up and local volunteers have been bringing supplies including blankets, food and even a porta-potty.
Volunteer Nate Alcock says because the city’s summer shelter Genesis House did not open this year, the tent is fulfilling a major need in the community.
“We know what’s going to happen if there’s no shelter. We know for a fact that people will be sleeping in the street,” he says. People will be sleeping under bushes, and over time, as there are no shelters provided, people will be getting sick. They will be getting hurt. They will be getting thrown into jail. They will be getting harassed by passersby. They will be getting sexually assaulted. They will be getting verbally assaulted.”
Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan was not available for comment, but his office says they have received complaints from nearby property owners. The spokesman says the shelter is illegal according to city code and the mayor is reaching out to the owners of the property to find a solution.