Jaclyn Kelley / Eyewitness News
Email: | Twitter: @jkelleyWWL

NEW ORLEANS - On Thursday the city ordered homeless people camping underneath the Pontchartrain Expressway to leave and they did.

'It has absolutely grown, it's getting bigger,' says Warehouse District resident Terri Malone. 'The groups are banding together and forming camps.'

The area under the Pontchartrain Expressway that was full of homeless camps is now empty. After several complaints, the city declared it a health hazard and ordered everyone to leave within 72 hours.

'I think it's a little shake down, I think it needed to happen, the smell under the expressway was horrible,' says Malone.

Despite some Resistance by those living there, the city cleared out the area and cleaned it up by last week's deadline.

But now those same camps are popping up just a few blocks away, between Camp Street and the river.

'I'm not surprised at all,' says Warehouse District resident Melvin Cade. 'I knew it was going to happen, they are going to go somewhere if they don't have a place to go and they don't want to live by the rule

Cade says it needed to happen, but now he says the city needs to work on a better long-term solution.

'I feel for the homeless that have no place to go, however it really affects my livelihood and my surrounds because they are there,' says Cade.

In a statement, a city spokesperson said they are committed to helping the homeless population and with the help of local programs they will continue to help folks make the transition into shelters.

However, local shelters says it is easier said than done.

'Unfortunately we and other shelters are offering them somewhere to stay, but some people just don't want to come in,' says Darren Witson, the night manager at Ozanam Inn.

Witson says, even after the notice to vacate, they did not get the influx of people they were expecting.

'The people that we are sleeping are our regular clients,' says Witson. 'They've been sleeping here for a while, I mean, lot of them I know by name and face.'

Read or Share this story: