Tent City Mediation Update
This afternoon, Lakewood's Tent City dwellers get a little extra help from the Ocean County Medical Society. But where do we stand with the on-going legal battle?
The group will be bringing boxes of winter clothes and medical supplies to the residents. At this point, the issue between the homeless population, Ocean County and Lakewood Township remains in court-appointed mediation.
A court-ordered mediator was named earlier this year to help resolve the issue of the homeless living on Township owned land. Lakewood is suing to evict the 85 people from the site in the woods off of Cedar Bridge Avenue.
The homeless residents of the camp are being represented by Jeffrey J. Wild of Lowenstein and Sandler. The Ocean County Board of Social Services and the Board of Freeholders were added to the countersuit in response to the township's eviction suit, first filed back in June of 2010.
Steven Langert with the Lakewood Township Committee says aside from the court case, "it's great the group is getting some extra help. We've always been concerned about the health and well-being of everyone on the site and don't feel this will enable them to stay there or hurt our case. We want to come up with solutions."
All sides hope the issue is resolved before the winter months set in.
Langert adds "over the years, there have been fires, deaths and other incidents. We hope all sides can agree."
He tells WOBM News some progress has been made over the last few months.