Former tent city residents find a home in Bucks Co.
BRISTOL, Pa. - June 1, 2012 (WPVI) -- Friday was move-in day for five of the homeless men evicted last month from a garbage-filled tent city in the woods behind Lower Bucks Hospital.
"You better believe it's looking swell," said Tom Shields. "Heck yeah, back to civilization again."
Some of these men have lived in the woods for years. With some state money, donations and help from the Yardley faith-based group 'The Way Home,' the men will now live in a rental house in Bristol Borough with the things most of us take for granted: a bed, a bathroom, clean clothes and food.
"You start losing your humanity when you're living out there, you know?" said John Gittins. "You go feral. This is giving me my humanity back."
The goal is to get these men settled, get them the services they need so they can be integrated back into society and become more independent.
"This is the first step on their journey coming back in to be part of society and getting things together," said Clyde Beury of 'The Way Home.'
Neighbors on this residential street watched with concern as the formerly homeless men moved their few belongings into the house.
The head of the group organizing the rental went from door to door assuring people there'll be no alcohol allowed at the house and there's a curfew. 5 years ago, James Richardson was himself homeless.
"In that time I've graduated from college, I own a home and I'm the president and CEO of this organization," he said. "And my story could be their story."
As long as they're not on drugs or you know," said resident Lisa Grabowski, "because there's a lot of kids on the street."
To celebrate this huge transition, the men shared a cake that read "Welcome Home." With a roof now over their heads and lots of help, it's up to them to re-integrate, get work and start their lives over.
pennsylvania, bucks county, homeless, local/state, nora muchanic
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