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Philadelphia will shut down homeless encampment next week

July 10, 2020 GMT

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia will soon close an encampment of homeless people that sprang up four weeks at a city park.

The encampment near Benjamin Franklin Parkway will be shuttered July 17, city officials announced Friday.

They called the move an action “very much of last resort” that comes after encampment organizers refused the city’s offers to meet their demands, which officials said kept shifting. They also cited a lack of clarity about which organizers spoke for the group running the encampment.

In a statement issued late Thursday, Philadelphia Housing Action — the coalition of groups that organized the encampment — said they had ended talks with the city. They cited the city’s “failure to provide or even offer a single unit of housing” to any of the camp’s 150-plus residents and the imposition of “an artificial deadline” for disbanding the camp.

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The coalition said the encampment was conceived as a form of political protest over city policies toward the homeless and the lack of low-income housing in the city.

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