Homeless encampment near downtown Concord cleared out

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  • Volunteer Terry Clark picks trash items during the cleanup of the homeless encampment behind Market Basket on Storrs Street on Monday, April 12, 2021. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Mark Fagan, chief operating officer for the Concord Coalition to End Homelessness, volunteers during the cleanup of the homeless encampment behind Market Basket on Storrs Street on Monday, April 12, 2021. “It’s very sad that people have to live this way; not a life for any human being to live. It’s unfortunate.” Fagan found a few needles. He was there to look for biohazards before the crews came to bulldoze the whole encampment. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Mark Fagan, chief operating officer for the Concord Coalition to End Homelessness, volunteers during the cleanup of the homeless encampment behind Market Basket on Storrs Street on Monday, April 12, 2021. “It’s very sad that people have to live this way; not a life for any human being to live. It’s unfortunate.” Fagan found a few needles. He was there to look for biohazards before the crews came to bulldoze the whole encampment. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Volunteer Terry Clark picks trash items during the cleanup of the homeless encampment behind Market Basket on Storrs Street.

  • The cleanup of the homeless encampment began by removing hazardous items such as needles on Monday.

  • Mark Fagan, chief operating officer for the Concord Coalition to End Homelessness, assists volunteers to clean up the homeless encampment behind Market Basket on Storrs Street. GEOFF FORESTER photos / Monitor staff

  • Mark Fagan, chief operating officer for the Concord Coalition to End Homelessness, volunteers during the cleanup of the homeless encampment behind Market Basket on Storrs Street on Monday, April 12, 2021. “It’s very sad that people have to live this way; not a life for any human being to live. It’s unfortunate.” Fagan found a few needles. He was there to look for biohazards before the crews came to bulldoze the whole encampment. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • One of cleaner homeless encampments behind Market Basket on Storrs Street on Monday, April 12, 2021. By Wednesday afternoon, it was gone. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Mark Fagan, chief operating officer for the Concord Coalition to End Homelessness, volunteers during the cleanup of the homeless encampment behind Market Basket on Storrs Street on Monday, April 12, 2021. “It’s very sad that people have to live this way; not a life for any human being to live. It’s unfortunate.” Fagan found a few needles. He was there to look for biohazards before the crews came to bulldoze the whole encampment. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • The cleanup of the homeless encampment behind Market Basket on Storrs Street on Tuesday, April 13, 2021. Tuesday, April 13, 2021. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Smoke rises from one of the two fires at the homeless encampment off of Storrs Street in Concord on Wednesday morning, April 13, 2021. The Concord fire department had to bring in the Forestry trucks to get water on the fire. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Smoke rises from one of the two fires at the homeless encampment off of Storrs Street on Tuesday. The Concord Fire Department brought in forestry trucks to get in water.

  • The completed cleanup of the homeless encampment behind Market Basket on Storrs Street on Tuesday, April 13, 2021.Tuesday, April 13, 2021. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Volunteers pick up trash at the cleanup of the homeless encampment behind Market Basket on Storrs Street on Tuesday, April 13, 2021.Tuesday, April 13, 2021. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Volunteers pick up trash at the cleanup of the homeless encampment behind Market Basket on Storrs Street on Tuesday, April 13, 2021.Tuesday, April 13, 2021. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Concord firefighters had to put out two fires at the homeless encampment on Wednesday morning, April 13, 2021. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • The cleanup of the homeless encampment behind Market Basket on Storrs Street on Monday, April 12, 2021. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Mark Fagan, chief operating officer for the Concord Coalition to End Homelessness, volunteers during the cleanup of the homeless encampment behind Market Basket on Storrs Street on Monday, April 12, 2021. “It’s very sad that people have to live this way; not a life for any human being to live. It’s unfortunate.” Fagan found a few needles. He was there to look for biohazards before the crews came to bulldoze the whole encampment. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • The cleanup of the homeless encampment behind Market Basket on Storrs Street on Monday, April 12, 2021. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Volunteers pick up trash at the cleanup of the homeless encampment behind Market Basket on Storrs Street on Tuesday. GEOFF FORESTER photos / Monitor staff

  • Volunteers pick up trash at the cleanup of the homeless encampment behind Market Basket on Storrs Street on Tuesday, April 13, 2021.Tuesday, April 13, 2021. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 4/13/2021 3:56:01 PM

A homeless encampment sandwiched on a slice of private land between the highway and Storrs Street in Concord has been cleared out and people living there forced to find a new place to stay.

Tree crews were called in to cut down brush. Volunteers came to pick up trash. Health workers came to remove used needles and help people relocate. Police were there to make sure everything remained peaceful. Even fire crews came down to the area near the railroad tracks Tuesday to extinguish two fires that seemed to be set intentionally.

“Any encampment cleanout is a tough thing for outreach workers because as everybody knows there is no place for people,” said Lauren McGinley, the executive director of New Hampshire Harm Reduction Coalition. “We have humans that just have to live outside for one reason or another.”

Brixmor Capitol, the owners of the Capitol Shopping Center, which includes Market Basket, Burlington Coat Factory and a state liquor store, among other tenants, wanted the area cleaned out after receiving complaints about overdoses and trash, according to Concord Deputy Police Chief John Thomas.

The city paid to remove the brush and trees in the area while representatives and volunteers from community organizations like the Concord Coalition to End Homelessness worked to relocate the 20 or 30 residents of the camp, who were given several weeks notice before the cleanup started this week.

McGinley said her organization was overseeing the collection of potentially toxic used syringes. In addition, McGinley said two care coordinators from her coalition were reaching out to residents as they were forced to move.

“They’ve really developed a really nice relationship with the encampment members to earn some trust to make sure that they understand they’re here to help them move on safely,” McGinley said.

As brush was removed, heaps of trash became visible.

Heavy equipment will be used to clear out the rest of the area in the coming days.

“It’s filthy right now, unfortunately,” said Mark Fagan, the chief operating officer for the Concord Coalition to End Homelessness.

Fagan was helping to pick up trash before machinery was brought in to clear the area.

“It’s very sad that people have to live this way,” Fagan said. “It’s just not a way for any human being to live. It’s just unfortunate.”

Before cleanup began Tuesday, fire crews were called to the area for reports of two separate piles of trash and debris on fire near the south end of Storrs Street.

The fires appeared to be intentionally set, city officials said.

(Staff writer Teddy Rosenbluth contributed to this report.)




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