Maine town clears illegal homeless camp, throws bums out

"The conditions there were absolutely deplorable. They were out of control ... "

SANFORD, Maine — “I have no idea where any of them are,” Journey Ramsey said as she walked around what remained of an encampment at Heritage Crossing in Sanford.

Journey is the co-owner of It Takes a Village 207, a nonprofit organization that provides community outreach in Sanford. She was looking for several people experiencing homelessness who she has helped and now considers friends.

“I worry about them on a daily basis,” she said.

Her concern was especially high Tuesday, one day after city officials cleared residents out of the encampment.

“Almost any place they can go is city property, which is where they can’t go,” Journey said.

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Ten squatters were illegally occupying at the encampment when it was officially cleared on Monday.

Journey said It takes a Village 207 has been feeding about 75 people per week for about a year at that location before the city began taking the upper hand.

“The conditions there were absolutely deplorable,” Sanford City Manager Steven Buck said. “They were out of control.”

Buck said the site was a public health crisis with dangerous living conditions.

The city did not have access to the site when the encampment first started to form because it was previously owned by a private company, but they gained control of the site this past April and started the process to permanently close it.

Buck said Sanford has been working over the past two years to address homelessness in the city …

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