Va. Beach ponders approving homeless 'tent city'


City staff are exploring authorizing a "tent city," a move that would make the Beach the first community in the state to sanction a homeless encampment - if the City Council approves the idea.

Mayor Will Sessoms, however, said he doesn't support it.

"I just don't see it happening," Sessoms said. "I could not recommend it because I do not want to encourage homelessness. I want to work to keep people from being homeless."

Andrew Friedman, director of the city's Housing and Neighborhood Preservation Department, said officials are looking into how such an encampment would be operated, including issues involving policing, sanitation and the duration of its existence.

Any camp would have to meet city requirements for campgrounds and health and safety, Friedman said. Any proposal would ultimately go before the City Council for land use approval.

There are at least a dozen known encampments around the city and they keep popping up. Anyone can wind up out there in the current economy, said William Duncan, a local advocate for the homeless.

City staff members think an authorized encampment could make it easier for the city to keep tabs on the homeless and provide services to them.

In March, however, the city shut an encampment on Loretta Lane in Seatack that had more than 20 people living in it, tacking eviction notices to trees after the property owner sanctioned the evictions. Last month, a woman died in a small encampment off Loretta Lane.

A January count found 453 homeless people in Virginia Beach, down from 517 the previous year. Officials plan on conducting a summer count Aug. 12-14.

Friedman said his department will talk to city officials about the implications of the camps before seeking proposals from churches and organizations for a sanctioned encampment. With no formal proposal yet, it's just an idea and no specific sites are under consideration.

One local nonprofit group, Hope in the Upper Room, is considering submitting a proposal.

Duncan, who's known by only his last name in the homeless community, is the leader of Hope. The nonprofit hosts a weekly support session for homeless individuals, many of whom live in encampments. Group members volunteer and pick up trash around the city.

"We're very interested in it and would volunteer for it," Duncan said. "Anything that they can incorporate, we'll be behind it."

Residents have mixed feelings about the idea of sanctioning encampments.

E. George Minns, president of the Seatack Community Civic League, has been raising concerns about homeless encampments in and around his neighborhood. He said he would support a sanctioned encampment, but also thinks the homeless need more permanent options.

"This would be a more humane approach... Just creating an official encampment is good but not really going to deal with the problem," Minns said. "If you move people out of the woods and into homes, then we are dealing with the problem."

Tom Musumeci, chairman of the Seabridge Square Civic League, said his community has had homeless people since the 1990s and he would like to see more solid options for them.

"I think it's an idea worth exploring, but I'm cautiously optimistic because there are a lot of policy issues that will have to be looked at," he said.

Efforts to legalize encampments have gone on in other cities such as Portland, Ore., Seattle and St. Petersburg, Fla.

Sharon Chamard, associate professor at the Justice Center at the University of Alaska Anchorage, has written a manual on homeless encampments. She said they are more common in the Pacific Northwest because it's a more liberal area of the country.

Homeowners often object. "Most communities are resistant to this," she said. "Many people see it as supporting an illegitimate lifestyle."

Michael Stoops of the National Coalition for the Homeless said more of the encampments are popping up in the nation because people are losing homes and jobs.

"Until we solve the housing and poverty crisis, unfortunately, there will be people living outside, and it would only make sense for some homeless who'd want to band together as a community," he said. "There's no other place to go."

Jennifer Jiggetts, (757) 222-5150, jennifer.jiggetts@pilotonline.com

Posted to: Local Government News Virginia Beach

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VB is so snobby- we never help the homeless. Every other city opens public places for the homeless during the extreme hot & cold- but not VB. Can't let the tourist know that we have homeless people. ya know its not just adults. it's kids too. So maybe Mr. Sessoms & all of city council should lose their jobs next election. there are times I'm proud of VB & times when I'm totally ashamed. this is one of those times. so worried about taking care the rest of the world but not your own people. sad.. You don't support homelessness- WHO DOES????? most of them don't want to be homeless.

free camping!!

horah,go for it vab,that way when anyone wants to camp in good ole va beach we c
an just go to "TENT CITY" and camp for free!! probably score some alcohol and drugs to boot!! you go va beach!!!!

Don't Assume

Making generalized statements without actual facts does you no good. Please feel free to educate yourself on what Virginia Beach does, and does not do, for the homeless by checking out the Housing Emergency and Homeless Assistance Information site:


or the Viriginia Beach Homeless Advocacy & Resources Partnership site:


Supporting "tent cities" is not a responsible, appropriate way to deal with homelessness.

So Don't assume- its very

So Don't assume- its very obvious that you have been fortunate to never be in that position. The web sites can say what people make them say- but from seeing it first hand- the websites are clueless. No one wants to help with the problem they just don't want to deal with it themselves. that is real responsbile huh??

of course the mayor of

of course the mayor of va.bch. would nix this idea,i mean why would the president of towne bank care about the homeless,plus that might take a little money away from the light rail coming to the beach,which he want's come hell or high waterat a cost of over $800,000,000(regardless that the vast majority of citizens have said no).

oh please if all these

oh please if all these agencies worked or even actually existed to help the homeless,then there would be no homeless,so quit advocating all these do nothing sites

not true

You should read the book, "you owe yourself a drunk." While there are many people who live day to day, suffer a setback, and find themselves homeless; for these people, agency or private assistance can put them back on their feet.

There are also many homeless people who are there because (1) they suffer from addiction or mental illness, cannot keep a job, and cannot live by shelter rules; or (2) simply prefer, as the result of antisocial tendencies, to live "off the grid." For most of these people, all the help in the world will do no good; you can't help the unwilling and the money spent is often simply a waste.

Please note I'm neither supporting nor criticizing any of them.

Would not work anyway...

You would need to set up rules, something many of these people do not want to follow. Besides, if it is sanctioned by the city and one of them gets hurt, who gets sued? Me and you!

I remember during the 70's and early 80's when the homeless ruled the oceanfront, sleeping anywhere, smoking dope, urinating and drinking wherever they wanted. Back them we called them bums because that is what they were. They have not changed much since then, but now we control them better and call them nicer names...

Bus them to California

Worked on a cartoon, so I'd imagine they're considering it.

What did you expect from a

What did you expect from a banker disconnect ?

"Doesn't want to encourage

"Doesn't want to encourage Homelessness?"

Well who does? Unfortunately, it's a fact of life, especially these days. What are these people supposed to do until a better solution presents itself? If the homeless had a central place to go, camp, whatever, seems like more could be done for them long term, instead of only looking at short term options.

Good point

Gathering the homeless (who have for whatever reason, don't fit in a traditional shelter) in one place would enable us to get an accurate count of the hidden homeless. I have a feeling there are more than we think. Those with housing, employment or services to offer would at least know where to find them. Some of these people might be suffering from PTSD from the military or from trying to survive on the streets. Might explain why they prefer tents to shelters. Also, some may make light of this but if all you had left in this world was your loyal pet, would you abandon them for a night at a shelter? I wouldn't. If the REAL point of intervening is to help the homeless, wouldn't it make sense to offer the kind of help they need?

longterm won't happen

There is no elected official that will directly approve to help the homeless for what I consider the fear of repercussions (lack of getting another vote and lawsuits from the homeless for who knows what a lawyer could cook up). The best hope for the homeless is for the powers at be, to encourage help groups and volunteers to utilize grants and charities to be used most appropriately. I have loads of compassion for some of the truly homeless, not the bums that ask you for change before you get away from a drive thru window like Wendy's down at the beach or hold signs will work for food and scam people. Sifting thru the riff raff, a challenge for sure......helping the truly needy and there are some now is another altogether.....

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Stick to your guns, Mayor, and slap around whatever city officials have been considering how a sanctioned tent city would work. What a horrible idea.

Will, you ought to give them your home address

You probably have a couple of spare bedrooms, they could bunk up with you and your family.

I have a solution. These people are homeless, which means they could live anywhere. Why not establish campgrounds for them and let contractors know they can go there to hire day laborers. As the seasons change, the homeless could migrate North and South to stay in temperate climates. If some turn out to be good and reliable workers, they could get hired on permanent.

It could be a win-win for everyone. But instead of ignoring the problem or wishing it was different, something (minimally) needs to be done.

We already have a large contingent of folks like that

The politically correct term for them is "undocumented immigrants".

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why don't you hop in your little car, drive down to one of these little "tent villages" and offer the money to come to your house and do yard work and other chores.....see how many take you up on the offer and let us know

I have

I have actually ask one of the 'Will work for food' men to do some yardwork,told him I would give him $20 for about an hour of work, he refused say it was really not enough. I left and have never ask another.
Nor will I ever. And it really irks me now to see anyone give them as much as a dime.


There but for the grace of God go I. Many people live paycheck to paycheck and a job loss can lead to losing one's home. While others may have mental illness and since the 1980's under Reagan, those who need psychiatric help have been turned away and made to live like animals on the street. Yes, there are other who do not exhibit proper behavior in public, both among the homeless and the well heeled. Even Pro Athletes, Celebrities, musicians,what have you, can act like bums in public.
The greatest commandment of all is to simply love one another.

They weren't so much turned

They weren't so much turned away as they were allowed to check thmeselves out despite their lack of reasoning ability.

Bus them to Portsmouth

Isn't that what Portsmouth is for anyway?

Your comment

I guess that's funny where you're from.


You can send them to Portsmouth. If they qualify we have brand new goverment housing and cell phones waiting for them.

We have showers and toilets

We have showers and toilets all down the oceanfront, but you can't build a campground with running water and toilets for homeless people?

How many people have sponsored a homeless person in their home?


now how many of those people have posted on this thread against the mayors vote?

now how many of those people did that during hours when most folks are working?

EXACTLY my point

well batcountry

Don't keep us in suspense! How many homeless people have you sponsored in your home?


Well Mr. Smugg......guess what

I sponsor exchange kids every year since 2008
most on my ticket but also shared by the kids parents....

I'm happy to provide a save loving home with my own family to make a better world

how many do you host each year???

No no

There is only one G in smug. Ok, so you sponsor exchange kids every year since 2008, 09, 10, 11. This year makes 4. Congrats.
The question still remains:
How many broke, unfed, dirty clothed, no pot to pee in or window to throw it out of homeless people do you sponsor??? Dang, I've had exchange students in my house, it's not the same.

Crickets say chirp chirp.
Avoid the question again and your answer is zero. But thank you for your lip service.


I never mentioned anything about money. What tax dollars are you refering to?

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True snob

The homeless don't give thousands in campaign contributions, so willie has no need for them.

In willie's mind, VB is for tourists, developers, and snobs, not residents.

i thought most homeless

i thought most homeless people wanted to be homeless..remember the guy that got ran over sleeping on the beach? some people were wondering why his family only cared about him after he was killed and saw the dollar signs in front of them , but no we were told that the family wasnt doing anything wrong, cause most homeless people choose to be homeless. please make up yalls minds, which is it?

to borrow,

a line from Elton John, "such a sad sad situation and it's getting more and more absurd"....to think that in this country we cannot come up with a solution to this issue.

This Nation, that can travel to the moon and beyond, that can move mountains, that has an opperating budget in the Trillions, (that's TRILLIONS folks, can you picture it?)cannot come up with a way to get these people off the streets? (I don't care if they deserve it or not.)

The sense of community, the "can do" spirit, the sense of "were all in this together" is gone from America and it's too bad because it is what made this country great.

I wonder if we can get it back, or is it too late?

tent city?

If the Mayor allows tent city to keep going, even though it is not sanctioned by the city, it open Pandora's Box into the rather strange adverse possession intonations that in all actuality don't really exist. Since it is not publicly sanctioned by the City, tent city's adverse possession can never truly have legal status.

The city might consider appointing an assistance group to assist those in need to acquire employment or provide through various charity or religious groups temporary sustenance/shelter. Barring the desire not to take advantage of the City's generosity, squatters should be picked up as vagrants, logged in by the police and removed to a location outside the Tidewater region.

The time has come to ask for help!

Removed to a location

outside of Tidewarer?????? Like where????

there's always

The landfill. Seriously, what do these people do? I really would like to know.

Homeless Shelters Have Room, But Not for Drugs/Weapons

Heard from a lot of people who work in homeless shelters. There are plenty of them out there, w/space for the homeless, but many of the homeless in tent cities don't want to give up their drugs/weapons to get into the shelters. Those items are not allowed & for good reason. Also, many of the homeless have mental issues, but not enough to get them committed involuntarily. The mayor is right, this is NOT the kind of thing we want to encourage. Hasn't anyone read the crime statistics from the areas near these "tent cities"? What's also sad is that job hunting services at shelters go unused by the majority of "guests." And for the record, I do help support local shelters w/donations & volunteering.

How about a little critical thinking here?

The mayor is not against helping the homeless, but a city-run "campground" is lunacy.
When the city builds it, it assumes the duty of safety, compliance with all regulations (ADA, sanitation),utilities, etc. and exposes itself to liability.
The city should not provide substandard housing to anyone, nor should it build a free campground of a quality of a commercial KOA--and compete with them.
Most of the homeless who camp in the woods don't want to be in "official" space; those who do, find shelters. So a city "hobo village" would be empty.
The most the city can do is leave them alone, if they camp where no one complains about it. No harm, no liability, no expense. Meanwhile, provide real shelters for those who want and truly need them.

And then we would have to

And then we would have to support them (God help us if we didn't).
We would have to provide meals ,medical , transportation and then cell phones in case they needed to call for assistance . Where would it stop.

Where indeed

Maybe if we throw in some practical skill training it might stop with them being able to support themselves.

Is willie king?

“I just don’t see it happening,” Sessoms said. "Mayor says no."

So just because puppet willie says no, that's it? No discussion. No comment? It is over?

Since only 38% of the citizens elected this person as mayor, does he now believe he is a king? He can dictate what goes on?

A small stipends

If the city were to give a small stipends could the homeless move in with you?

So you don't want to encourage....

but they are there. Ask PIN ministry, they supposedly are for the homeless. They can give you a list I'm sure that are in tents off Birdneck, using the wireless internet of the hard working home owners who back up to woods. Laying in their tents with laptops and cell phones. I know of one that is mooching off an older woman in our city. So, don't encourage homelessness, find them someone to stay. They don't have a reason to work all day till their back hurts, pay taxes, struggle w/cut off notices from utilities and such. They all have means to show up at church pantries reeking of beer/alcohol/cigarettes to get food then sell their EBT. Who is encouraging this??? This is all first hand experiences. Mr. Sessoms....they are HERE!!!!

And sometimes...

one gets to be homeless when a dirty attorney lies in court and then gets a fraudulent loan approved by the mayor's bank.

What do you think of that willie????

let me clarify...

dirty estate attorney/judge nominee who falsified loan docs on a home and lied in court, (many times), in order to liquidate an estate for a friend.

Can I get one of those "you scratch my back & I'll scratch yours" loans???

If more loans like these were available then many people wouldn't be homeless...

"How many people have

"How many people have sponsored a homeless person in their home?"

That is a false argument; in many cases it goes way beyond just not having a home for shelter. Many homeless have mental a mental illness and with most mental illnesses tags along a lack of reasoning abilities.
You can try to offer a room to a homeless person, the bigger challenge would be to convince him/her to take it....and then not destroy you home.

Cha Ching

If Mayor Sessoms doesn't want to encourage homelessness, then he and the other so-called "fiscally conservative" Republicans on City Council should cut property taxes (and particularly the coming trash tax), cut spending and say "no" to light rail. That would help some struggling Beach families stay in their homes a while longer in these tough times.

Can you imagine...

The mayor is right on in not supporting such an endeavor. Now, imagine, if it did happen, and I hope it doesn't, word would get out. Homeless souls would learn of this haven and head to "The Beach". Subsidize something and you will sureley get more of it.
The mayor is right in working to eliminate homelessness, not create a tent city/homeless campground. (I didn't vote for him, but he is slowly gaining my support.)
There are a number of support mechanisms for the homeless in VA Beach: JCOC, the Lighthouse and The Potter's House to name but a few. Folks should be given a hand UP not a hand OUT.
It has been observed that about 1/3 just need help as their luck is bad about 1/3 are menatlly ill and 1/3rd just like it they way they live.

the city should not be enabling

The city should not be enabling homeless to live on the street rather they should be encouraging them to go to shelters and get cleaned up physically and mentally.


So, where are these shelters? I'm sure there wouldn't be nearly enough of them.

Not all people who are homeless are bums! Some are older VietNam vets, or Persian Gulf vets who came back with PTSD - honestly. Some are people who lost their jobs which caused them to lose everything else. Jobs are getting scarcer and scarcer. Employees are firing long-term people in order to save money by hiring the newbies.

Some people are dopers, true. But I like what someone said about "one strike and you're out". That would really help. There'd be a lot of strikes at first, I'm sure, but eventually it would settle down.

Please don't lump them all together. Where are they (the "good" ones) gonna go?

Uh... I like the CCC idea

Back in the '30s a president named Franklin D. Roosevelt decided to give food, shelter, and money to the poor and homeless and I think he had a great idea. There was one catch involved though, you also got a job and had to work 8 hours a day. The Program was the Civilian Conservation Corps and because of it we have many of the trails, roads and other hiking paths in many of our national parks today. I could even see using re-allocated money to go towards the program. You work, you get helped. You can't find a job, we will make one for you. Homelessness solved except for those who prefer homelessness to working for a living. For them “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” 2 Thessalonians 3:10 NIV

I agree

It's time again for WPA and CCC. The last time not only left us roads, bridges and national parks but rural electrification. Now our infrastructure is crumbling and we need environmental restoration, a new national passenger rail system as well as an updated, secure and ecologically sustainable power grid. There's work to be done and an army of unemployed willing to do it. Sometimes it's better to invest in the people than to give our money away to corporate thieves that move it to off shore banks and foreign sweatshops.

Putting un-employed people

Putting un-employed people to work on the government parole during the Great Depression is not the same as trying to address the overall problem of homelessness of today.
There is no validity to the assertion that the homeless are just un-motivated to work.
Many of the workers of the Depression era were skilled but lost their jobs. Imagine taking all the people you have seen asking for handouts and give them the task of building a bridge?

Cities need taxpayers, the Fed doesn't

The Fed needs to allow squatters on their vast open spaces across America like The Rock Candy Mountains and the Jimmy Cracked Corn Fields for the happy-to-be-homeless-and-staying-that-way population.

Mayor Almighty?

I am confused. I thought that the Mayor in VB, though directly elected, had no formal, executive authority. I thought that we had a Council-Manager system. Why is it that Sessoms injects himself into so many issues with the attitude that he has formal authority over everything, with his word being beyond dispute? And, if the other council members agree, why isn't this shared as a group decision (which should require some public discussion in an open meeting)? Or, if other members of the council do not agree on this or other issues, why isn't this made clear? It appears that the council, and the general public, have decided to give Sessoms whatever power he wishes to assume on his own.

so paranoid, so idiotic

I don't want a tent city anywhere in Virginia Beach, and your idiotic attempt to criticize because the Mayor shares the same view as about 95% of Virginia Beach residents is utterly self-centered. For crying out loud, look at the issue for once. Do you or do you not want a tent city of homeless people in Virginia Beach?

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silly rabbit

you can't ship them to Portsmouth because there is no one to panhandle :)

From History of the World Part 1

"Look at what we have come to-beggars begging from beggars!"

Great Movie!


Bring us your homeless to Virginia Beach... Kick back in the sun, subsidized living the simple way - no mortgage, no worries, dine on the Virginia Beach taxpayer. Thats what I'm talkin about! Whatever liberal democrat came up with this one needs to give up the crack-pipe. I genuinely feel for the homeless. However, some are homeless because they have no motivation to work for anything different. This initiative would become the equivalent of putting up the welcome sign for this demographic. This year's 500 will quickly become next year's 5000. Now, a city sanctioned work for food program and work to get back on your feet program, that would be different.

Welcome to Virginia Beach!!

Just watch out for the garbage trucks...

People die

The VP keeps bringing up the fact that a woman died in a homeless "camp." Guess what reporter, people die in multi-million dollar homes as well!


but not usually from lack of medical attention. The woman who died in the woods had COPD and was living in a tent in extremely hot/humid weather. Do the math. Surely you can see that is not the same thing as dying of natural causes in a million dollar home. The lack of compassion for fellow human beings expressed here is truly disturbing.

lack of compassion

Compassion to a point.......Virginia Beach is full of spoiled wealthy people working in a less than average affected by the economy place....I moved to upstate NY and its not the case here....I'm not homeless only for the sake of family. Moving back isn't always an option for people and the jobs just aren't steady enough to keep out of being homeless, my former boss doesn't have work for me down there.....yeah 165 bucks a week on unemployment after they take CS out isn't a possibility to live anywhere but the woods.....so.....unless you've been there or are in it.....homelessness is a reality and getting assistance is not possible. If some of these people that are so hateful here lost their home, they would not be so quick to judge.


wow...I finally agree with the tax, tax, tax, spend, spend, spend mayor.

My view

I see the need for this, with a high number of
homeless across the city. They need a place to
go, if only temporary. I agree with the Mayor,
they don't need encouragement to stay that way.
Any plan should have a time limit, and the homeless
should be encouraged...or required...to look for
any available work or housing. All the comments
I've read make good points..both pro and con.

I think the police should

I think the police should dress uplike ODU students and go undercover to start nabbing some of these animals preying on the college kids. Also, these crimes should be considered "hate" crimes, possible class envy and the guilty should be made examples of.

what does that have to do

what does that have to do with the VB homeless?

sigh . . . you got three

sigh . . . you got three thumbs up for demonstrating that you don't have a clue what a "hate crime" is. Obviously you've all read the same set of "pro hate crime" talking points.


What does this have to do with a tent city for the homeless?

bum camp at miller lane

hell no, we work right next to the tract of land at miller and loretta lane it took over a year to get them the hell out of there , the property is not zoned for a bum camp it is bordered on all three sides by wetlands and we do not need bums dumping trash and raw sewage out on the ground which drains straight into the lynhaven river , before the city kicked them out last winter , the encampment was full of prostitutes , panhandlers , and crooks who steal anything not nailed down , , your article says 20 people where living back in the woods last year , that is far from the truth , last winter 200 plus persons where living back there, on a warm day you can still smell the raw sewage and trash I am with the mayor hell no


You might be a "bum" yourself before you know it.


You can say hell no, but the reality is, you can't lock someone up for not having a home and saying hell no is not a solution, they just migrate to the next patch of woods next to a school you name it.....they live in Colonial Williamsburg up behind shopping centers too.....I know I worked several years building up there witnessed it myself, they do make a hell of a mess and no one in their right mind wants them on their back door...all the reason why they should pick a parcel near an air field or something far from residential and have a place to drop them off for the night, anything, but doing nothing is not the answer....yeah, they are theives, rapists, murders and some are just down on their luck these days...really!

down the toilet we go

watch the old movie "Grapes of Wrath"....camp Hooverville...thats where this country is headed

Or Tea Town

Now that the extreme right has pushed through what may be the final blow to our economy the demand will be growing. Formerly contributing citizens who've lost everything have a place to live. We could learn a few things from history but we had better pull together and build a more compassionate and egalitarian society if we are to make it through the hard times to come.

compassionate and egalitarian society

i agree ,,Socialism for eveyone..obama is on the 10 to 15 year plan, but i say lets cut to the chase and just convert now,so poor people will have the rest of us to suffer with them..like they say misery loves company..

Big Leap Projection

Would it take a revolution to make this a more egalitarian or compassionate society? Are you saying that socialism is the only solution for people forced onto the streets by the lack of jobs? Maybe you're right but Roosevelt fearing that as well, made adjustments to save capitalism. He had the support of millionaires like Rockefeller who realized that it was in their own self interest to get people back on their feet and make the system work for them. The right wing extremists of the time called him a socialist and they have opposed every program and mechanism to prevent further depressions up to the present with some success. And here we are again . . .


but the marxist extremist have taken over, obama feels america is an unjust and unfair country, and it is up to the goverment to make things "equal" and fair and just, and to bury your head in the sand and not see this is being quite like Neville Chamberlain.

Thank you

for totally discrediting yourself. Obama is as much a Marxist as Hoover was (maybe less so). Actually, as we have seen over the last month, he is unfortunately more comparable to Neville Chamberlain.

do one thing

read his book, dont believe me when i say he is a marxist,read it with you own eyes... Frank Marshall Davis communist and mentor,bill ayers and bernadine dohrnall american citizens to say the least., van jones,communist..where there is smoke there is fire,,this list doesnt include rev. wright former muslim,,rashid khalidi anti semite,,and so on and so forth, me discredited? hardly..you just dont want to believe

Love the "muslim"

Love the "muslim" connection, deft touch and nice shout out to your homies (that says a lot), but the previous poster was commenting on things Obama has actually DONE RECENTLY not his reminisces from his school days.

his old days? ok , your

his old days? ok , your "wright" im sure he never talks to those people anymore....god help us

Try another model

Try Tsarist Russia for a better model. The rich and powerful kept taking from the people until the people wouldn't take it anymore and rose up against them. That brought in Trotsky, Lenin and Stalin and their totalitarian regimes. We shouldn't kid ourselves that that can't happen here. History has a nasty way of repeating itself.

Socialism, smocialism.

A T.A.R.P., a tarp, my kingdom for a tarp!

you want to call it Tea

you want to call it Tea Town??....how about JFKville??...he was the first president that started looting the Social Security fund...in 1962!


and Clinton was the first one to tax SS benefits

gotta love those dems....redistribution at its finest....take from the elderly and give to the irresponsible, illegal, and fraudulent

The future is in Tents

The future is not going as planned. We've been had! when 1% own over 40% and the top 400 people own 90% of the wealth wile close of 50% are jobless we are in deep, deep trouble. A little tent space isn't that much to ask.

top 400 people own 90% of the wealth

Michael Moore on the Rachel Maddow show said.."400 obscenely rich people, most of whom benefited in some way from the multi-trillion dollar taxpayer “bailout” of 2008, now have more loot, stock and property than the assets of 155 million Americans combined"..DOES NOT EQUAL 90% of americas wealth,not even 50%. it just means those people worked alot harder than the bottom 50%..americas wealth also includes the othe 49% of the population,which is alot more than the combined total of the top 400 and the bottom 50%, my dear comrade


Shuffling debt and pushing hedge funds must be real hard work.

your problem is, you think

your problem is, you think everybody who has money stole it. and you believe that they stole from the poor people, with thinking like that is it no wonder some people never succeed,the "woe is me" attitude...yeah the walton family has made billions of dollars for themselves,truth be known, walmart has done 1000 times more for the poor people of this country than any goverment program could ever hope to do

Maybe you are jealous

Maybe you are jealous because they make more money than an unemployed bartender.

Not a new idea

this has been successfully done in Portland OR's Dignity Village since 2000. This camp provides a place for couples or people with pets. They also have rules with a "one strike you're out policy" which include no violence, no illegal substances, no alcohol, no stealing. The camp is also self supporting & self governed and residents must contribute to the upkeep of the village.

The camp has not been without challenges but it is makes more sense than running the homeless from one patch of woods to another with no real resolution. Seattle city councilwoman Sally Bagshaw wrote about her trip to Dignity Village in Portland here:


Makes one wonder....

....where they go when they suffer that “one strike”.

I believe if we all just go about our business this idea will dry up and blow away. The “leaders” here in duh beach aren't about camps, they're about extorting money from the producers to waste on unneeded and unwanted developer supported projects.

St. Pete

I live in the St Pete area during the winter months and the article is correct, St Pete has a tent city. However after they established the tent city, the council also passed a citywide "no panhandling law" which moved most of the homeless to Tampa. Now its their problem.

Tent City

We have gang problems also, wonder if the city will give them guns. What about the drug problem, give away free drugs? Assisting in the homelessness is not an answer to the problem it is only increasing the problem. Where would we put the tent city, maybe at Town Center?

Many years ago we had a problem like this and we created "government housing/public housing" and see where that got us. Just a way to keep the criminals and non working people in one place. It did not help the problem then. If we are going to provide cheap housing to the homeless (tents), should we also kick the people out of government housing and make them live in tents? It would be cheaper. Run for president, he makes bright decisions like this also!

And that's why we criticize bureaucrats

This is one of the dumbest things I've ever heard. No wonder we criticize bureaucrats. Those professional busybodies should go back to doing something useful, if they ever did. We don't need or want a tent city in Virginia Beach. If ever there were an argument for a RIF, this is it. This staff is out of touch with the community. Let's hope City Council is not.

Something more needs to be done

The great majority of homeless people are typically veterans, mentally ill or people that have been hit with severe economic circumstances. Some are drug addicts that have lost everything and yet can't shake their addictions. There are but few that actually choose to be homeless and because of them, all the rest suffer. Some of them are afraid of the shelters that are there because of abusive situations they've gone through at them.

Few shelters are equipped to deal with the mentally ill or those with addiction problems. We can credit that to the massive closures of asylums that happened decades earlier.

The reality is, the problem is still very much amongst us, only worse now, but few want to deal with it directly.

continued . . .

City after city across America are being forced to deal with this issue. From Seattle to St.Louis to here in Hampton Roads, the problem of homeless camps is being faced with mixed success and much failure. Perhaps Virginia Beach should look at how other communities are dealing with the problem THEN make a decision.

Banning the camps isn't going to work: they'll just spring up elsewhere in the city. The best solution would be to have the proper facilities to deal with them, get those that need treatment and help what they need and most important, give them some sort of work so they can get back on their feet. In other words, don't give them a handout but a hand up. The problem is, there's no money to do this with.

Money to do it with

There is money to do it with, but in the city's wisdom they choose to help up to "9 homeless" pay rent for the year......instead of stretching it further with charity and a property they could utilize that could house many more than 9. I am of the opinion though, that for fear of lawsuits for providing a service, they open the door for a lawsuit, so in the best interest of the city they will not condone it beyond the "9" by paying their rent..anything that could lead to a lawsuit is off limits.....the homeless will survive, just not here...they are all around, you have never paid attention to it. Look to the side of the interstate leaving the beach in the small wooded area before Rosemont.....they've been there for years.

Legalize them and call them

Legalize them and call them "Obamavilles". Then claim the homeless problem is solved. Easy.

"I just don't see it

"I just don't see it happening," Sessoms said----I'm sure there are a lot of things the good mayor doesn't see happening. We have a delusional, self centered congress that has the same affliction. Give it a little more time. He'll see the light one way or they other.

I would assume that the

I would assume that the market value of the tents in this tent city would be inflated as well?!

Just like the homes in the surrounding area.

I'm ready to advocate too

This is really cool and coincidental.......I too advocate for the homeless and hope they'll all go set up their tents in the back yard of all "advocators" mentioned in this article.

Don't assume

Do not assume the homeless are all alcoholics or drug addicts. With this economy very many are simply jobless. And while our people live in tents illegal immigrants drive nice cars and buy houses. And the feds fight any attempt to send and keep them home. Norway is an example of a government at war with it's people. The same is happening here. Prepare for open war.


Sessoms said. "I could not recommend it because I do not want to encourage homelessness." He's kidding, right?


These Obamavillages are popping up all over the country. It's pretty sad the hope and change is now just change.
If you were in Vietnam between 1970 /71 & in the 198 inf bdg Delta co (or near by in Chu Lai) contact me at pane@cox.net. I'd like to find a unit grunt buddy or many I served the jungles with.

Vietnam buddies

A lot of those Vietnam buddies are probably homeless.


Your probably right. Many more committed suicide. I'm in San Diego where many veterans are homeless. The democratic city council would have a cow if someone tried to set up any veterans homeless camp. Of course the illegals set up camps in any wooded area they please.

You've no idea . . .

Homeless camps have been around in this area LONG before Obama came into office. Trying to blame them on him is just a ridiculous political cheap, and uninformed, shot. Many of the homeless are vets from the Gulf wars or the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, issues that Obama wasn't directly involved in. With that in mind, using YOUR reasoning, they should be called 'Bushvilles.' Other people that are in the camps are mentally ill and don't have anywhere else to go, or people that have had abusive experiences in shelters. Very few people choose to live that way, for good reason.

If you want a REAL picture of what it is like and possibly find a few of your Vietnam buddies, actually visit one of the homeless camps and get educated.


Sessoms doesn't want to "encourage" the homeless. What an extraordinary thing to say! Very few people want to live outside in Virginia Beach.

The New Normal

Hampton Roads will not be the only community dealing with the issue of providing for the homeless in the near future. As the US economy continues to sour, more and more people will become homeless. This proposal to create a new tent city for the homeless in Virginia Beach is going to become common-place across the nation. It is the same type of thing that was established during the Great Depression ... back then, they were known as Hoovervilles. People need to simply face up to the fact that we're in a depression and deal with it. We will have to shelter the homeless, as we did in the 1930s, until the economy improves. While some of these people put themselves into this situation, many are simply a product of failed national policies.

Foxbush Estates

"If we love our country, we should also love our countrymen."
Ronald Reagan

what about rules

Wouldn't an organized or sponsored encampment have rules? Isn't this why these people are not in shelters because of communal rules and laws that support a community? I am not saying that all of those living in tents are abusing alcohol/drugs or are mentally ill, however, these and the choice of solitude are logical presumptions to why they are there in the first place. It seems this approach may further drive them into hiding on residential and commercial property in the area.

Back in the last Depression

Government sponsored camps had basic rules but they were run democratically and policed by the people that lived there.


Pwehaps the Pilot would like to run a series which addresses how much money Virginia Beach receives from all sources to help the homeless. Also a report of how many people are on the waiting list for housing would be helpful. How long do people have to wait for a place to live?

How many of the current homeless street population have been offered a place to live, yet refused the offer?

There is a need to be totally inclusive in the information used to make decisions on this issue. If the numbers are available in one location, then where can they be found. If not, why are they not available?

This is not about what we think we know....it is about saving lives.


Sorry for the typo. It should be "Perhaps"

Afraid of repercussions

The city gets a grant last year for 118K or something like that (look it up) and it supposed to help up to 9 homeless afford a place to rent yearly...why not do something more practical and build a unit with volunteer labor on city property that could house many indefinitely....and use the yearly grant to feed them thereafter if there is any.....this is a sorry way to handle money......pass it off to people renting the homes for profit....people need more common sense, this is why we are in a mess we are in. Everyone is afraid to help for the potential lawsuits that may occur....hence no approval for a tent city coming up! Well make a law that keeps lawsuits from happening for this help!
Used to live here not sure I want to come back.

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