Three days ago, WRBL News 3 told you about a homeless camp along the Chattahoochee Riverwalk.
The men had taken over the space under the 14th Street pedestrian bridge — and had been there for a couple of months.
That has changed.
A Monday morning shooting brought attention to the homeless community under the bridge. Four people attempted to rob a homeless man of his cell phone. He resisted and at least one shot was fired. No one reported injuries.
The city and Home for Good, a United Way agency, had been working to find a solution to the issue under the bridge. Home for Good would get some moved out and into shelter and others would join the community.
There were more than a dozen living in the prime downtown spot, sandwiched between a new $30 million hotel under construction and the TSYS campus.
The bathrooms under the bridge have been closed to keep them from being damaged. Friday, they were open, clean and usable.
The homeless men moved upriver in the last two days. The city and Columbus police made an effort to clear the area and make it look like the rest of the Chattahoochee Riverwalk.
“No easy solution,” Home for Good Executive Director Pat Frey said Friday morning. “But, again, it’s a collaborative effort. Everybody has to come together. And we need to have the voice of everybody in the community. And, yes, maybe as unpopular as it seems, we’re talking about the people who were former residents here.”
Next week Home for Good will send a team to meet with the men. The goal is to find those who want it adequate shelter.
Solving this problem is complex.
“It takes a community-wide effort,” Frey said. “It has to be a part of a strategic plan that we carry out on a daily basis, a weekly basis, a monthly basis. And we reevaluate as things change.”
Mayor Skip Henderson will meet Tuesday with Home for Good, local law enforcement and other groups to find a permanent solution to the problem.