Tent City Tenants on Edge After ‘No Trespassing’ Signs Pop Up

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DALLAS -- "You see a person out here homeless trying to make it, you’re going to put your foot on his neck. You’re going to try to keep him down.”

Those are the feelings of the man known as Blue Eyes and many others living in the camp under I-45, known as Tent City after the City of Dallas announced it would be closed May 4.

The city hopes it’s a first step toward ending homelessness, but those with their entire lives wrapped up inside a pop-up piece of canvas aren’t so sure.

"I don’t trust the city at all,” said Blue Eyes, a two-year resident of Tent City. "As far as I’m concerned, the city don’t give a damn about us.”

The city says the more than 200 people posting up under I-45 have worn out their welcome as crime increases there.

Even though the date given was May 4, the process has already begun.

Campers were given notices April 8 saying they need to vacate the premises. They were told that some sections would be cleared as early as this week. And today, a city crew came in and installed shiny new ‘No Trespassing’ signs beneath the bridge.

Those signs replace older — much smaller — "Notice" warnings, and they leave an uneasy feeling in the camp.

"From May 4 to all of a sudden 'No Trespassing' signs,” said camper Lee Cardena. “It actually feels like it’s illegal now, that anyone can come in here from Dallas and actually push us away.”

Lee and Diana Cardena are staying in Tent City not because they have to, but so they can feed and better help the homeless. Lee is part of a Christian Rap group called Holy Ghost Ridaz, and he left a life of touring the country to stay under the bridge.

They've even started a GoFundMe page asking for $140,000 to buy land that the Tent City homeless can put their tents on.

“They're down here putting 'No Trespassing' signs, and they’re kicking everyone out but at the end of the day we’re not helping them because they have no place to go,” Lee Cardena said.

The city and the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance are trying to line up temporary housing for the Tent City tenants, but there’s only one sure solution to this pop up problem.

"If you ain’t homeless, don’t get homeless,” Blue Eyes said. "Cause it ain't nothing nice."