A Seekonk resident woke up on Saturday morning to find a homeless community had established residence in his front yard overnight. Local resident Bill Thompson of Maple Ave said “I heard some noise around 11:30pm but I thought it was just the raccoons going through the garbage again”. He was shocked to find the homeless community in his front yard when he went outside to get the newspaper the following morning. He says “I didn’t know what was going on. I hear talking and I see tents and stuff. There must have been twenty people in my front yard”.
Thompson said he called the police but was told there was nothing they could do about it, as long as no one is breaking any laws then it’s ok for them to stay there. Thompson says “that’s not how things are supposed to work though”.
Homeless advocates say that situations like this are becoming more common across the state. They say that cities are starting to take a closer look at ordinances that prohibit camping in public places which force the homeless to camp on the lawns of private residences.
One of the new residents of Maple Ave Jill Sanders said “We were forced out of the woods behind Slater Park and we saw Bill’s front lawn, it looked like a really nice place to live”. Thompson is at a loss for what to do and says “I can’t even get my paper now, they stole my newspaper”.
The Seekonk Police Dept. didn’t want to comment on the story.
The residents of Maple Ave say they are considering taking legal action against the city for allowing this to happen, and they may even take it a step further and ask that the homeless community be removed from their lawns.