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Thread: Tents in the woods behind my house...homeless people?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Default Tents in the woods behind my house...homeless people?

    There's land behind my house that is undeveloped and I believe is owned by the city. It's very woodsy and previously I thought nothing of it. While looking at a map of our area I noticed that there's a pond on this land so I thought I would go check it out. The pond is pretty unimpressive but right next to the pond was this huge hill. I climbed the hill and found two tents with a bunch of dirty blankets strewn everywhere. There was also a lot of trash all over the place. I think there might be homeless people living there. It makes me kind of uncomfortable. What should I do?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Winston Salem
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    We had the same situation. My wife's office is at the front of a 5 acre tract, using perhaps 1/2 acre of it. The 5-6 neighboring buildings are the same, and the back of all these properties backs up to a power line easement that's about 200 yards wide. So a lot of land with no people.

    I've taken my kids to ride dirt bikes and play paintball in those woods/scrubs for several years. This spring, while walking the land prior to playing paintball, I came across 2 tents in the woods, almost exactly the way you describe them. Evidence of recent habitation, but nobody there (at least that I could see, no telling who might have been concealed in the underbrush).

    I took my kids out of there ASAP. Then I called the county sherriff. They sent out a deputy, I walked with him to the tents. He took them down (not very gently), threw them in his trunk, and marked the area with crime scene tape.

    He said that when the homeless people returned and saw the crime scene tape they would leave the area. I asked about their tents, and he said they'd thow them away in a few days if unclaimed.

    I went back a week or so later, and didn't see any evidence of re-colonization of the area.

    For me, the answer was to get the sherriff involved. However, i felt like crap that these peoples few belongings were taken from them and they would probably never see them again.

    You can leave a note telling them that you will call sherriff if they're not gone in in a day or so... Don't threaten, don't give name, don't even say you're a neighbor. Then call sheriff's office.

    My guess is that your county police will react about the same way.

    Good luck.

    After all is said and done.... A heck of a lot more will be said than done
    Red X Angler

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Contact the property owner and let them know that if they don't handle it that you will get the police involved, you could mention calling WRAL also if they seem reluctant to act.
    bwguffey likes this.


  4. #4

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    This is a tough one for me. I havent always had a nice home and or a place to stay. To take someones tent if they truely didnt have anywhere else to go would make me feel awful. If the situation was different (not so close to home) I might even offer them some food or supplies. On the other side of the coin if I was worried about my familys safety when I wasnt home then there would be no question, no note just call the sheriff and get them outta there.

    Then there is the guy on the corner holding a homeless sign with better shoes than me talking on his cell phone (smoking$20 pack cigs), probably taking in more than most of us some days because there are warm hearted people who feel sorry for them, really irks me.

    I like fishing. Not actual fishing - I like the peace and quiet of being at sea. It's different.

  5. #5
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    Aug 2009
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    There was a big deal about a similiar situation in the newspaper in Myrtle Beach last year. City or county owned property where homeless people were living. The city was determined to "get rid of them" with the same methods described above. There other side sympathized as they were not bothering anybody and had no where else to go.

    Where do you draw the line? Government is cutting all the welfare programs including homeless shelters and mental health care and then getting upset when they live in a tent.

    We can hardly line them up and shoot them but it would be the same effect and probably more humane.
    bwguffey, papadave, and RouseD like this.


    Red X Angler
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Default Tents in the woods behind my house...homeless people?

    You'll never know what people are truly up to in situations like that....you'll never know what your walking up on....be cautious and notify somebody of what you've found seen.....homeless people/drug manufacturers/kidnappers.....you never know


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    RouseD likes this.


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  7. #7

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    we have this all over little pockets of wilmington, i mean right behind big business on busy roads, that you'd never see if you didnt see their tracks to and from the nearest beer store! We had one camp that had over 40 tents they had to "vacate" in order to build a business...ended up being a big deal and an eye opener to alot of people
    RouseD, and wademaster like this.

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  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Clinton
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    Default Re: Tents in the woods behind my house...homeless people?

    So much waste in the welfare system. Hard to imagine they couldn't get some kind of assistance.

    Most of my run ins with things like this around Wilmington and Carolina Beach these people were drug abusers and didn't try to make their lives any better.

    But on the other hand they may be good people in a bad spot. You are the one who has to sleep with the decisions you make.

    Do what you feel is right. But do not destroy other peoples property (tents, blankets and etc.) and expect no repercussions.

    Sent from my XT926 using Tapatalk 2
    2840-FISH, and RouseD like this.

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  9. #9
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    Jul 2011
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    Any idea how much it costs to clean a meth lab? A weed growing operation near? How much damage from a fire they start? What is the land owner liability if they get hurt? My brother and I own several tracts in several areas. We ask neighbors to notify us if they see activity, foot paths, tire tracks, smoke, etc. Police make so much noise no one is found and they don't want to make another visit so we take care of any situations our selves.
    2840-FISH, flathead2brookie, and RouseD like this.

    Red X Angler

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Tents in the woods behind my house...homeless people?

    The same neighbors you want to call you are most of the time the ones cooking meth and dumping trash on your property.
    At least that is my experience.



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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Default Re: Tents in the woods behind my house...homeless people?

    Also the landowner protection act helps you out with liability of trespassers now as long as you make sure your property is properly posted.

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  12. #12

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    I had a temp at work who said he lived in a bamboo shack he built in the woods. He would always talk about homeless life and living off the grid. He was set up somewhere close to a shopping center, ride his bicycle to the temp place and them bum a ride with one of the other temps to and from work. He seemed to like it and had no intentions of doing anything else.

    The office/industrial park in RTP where I work has a wooded area close by and there is a guy I see walking every so often that I suspect is set up in those woods. I often see him panhandling at 1 of 2 busy intersections and see him walking back from Walmart toward the woods.
    Take a Bass Boating!!!
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  13. #13

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    13% of the homeless adult population are veterans(http://nchv.org/index.php/news/media...tistics/#facts).
    Something to think about...................

    Red X Angler
    "And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise." Luke 6:31


  14. #14

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    I have helped homeless Vets in Jacksonville. We got them bikes from the JPD impound and the JPD got them tents. Every thing was cool until the Daily News did a story and then suddenly the numbers increased and problems started. One large encampment was torn down near Gus's Country Bar off Piney Green. We had an encampment set up on State land with State permission and some of the low lifes moved over there and started problems. Donated a bunch of my dad's clothes and hats to them when he passed. Had a sub shop that saved pickle buckets for me to give them. The business they were behind let them use their restrooms and a hose in the back to shower and fill water buckets. The Vet camps have never been a problem until non-Vets move in. Last I knew that camp was being closed. That was two years ago and I have not been back.

    Chances are the camp you found has been there awhile and never caused you a problem since you did not even know they were there. Why do you have to run them off? Sounds to me you were breaking the law by trespassing on private property, but you want them gone for breaking the same law. LEAVE THEM ALONE! If the LEOs go in there and take the possessions what will they do? Not like they have a bunch of money to go buy new tents and clothes.
    Brenardo, and catfish_hunter like this.


  15. #15

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    Speckhunter, you touched on a subject I thought of when I read the post. The land in question is not the OP's, so I guess the real owner could have called the Sheriff about people illegally riding dirt bikes and trespassing while paint balling. Funny how breaking the law with 'good intentions' is OK, but when someone stereotyped as undesirable does a similar thing the law needs to be involved. Even sadder is that the Sheriff apparently saw no problem with illegal dirt bike riding, but was upset with someone maybe just trying to survive.
    Brenardo, and NCPIERMAN like this.

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