PANAMA CITY Fla. - The deadline for anyone staying in tents at forest park united methodist church to leave was Dec. 11, 2018 and 1 pm. The Panama City Police Department was on scene to make sure the pack up went smoothly.
People have been staying in tents in the church's parking lot since November. Just within the past 30 days, law enforcement has responded to more than 20 calls. City officials say the area is unsanitary and unsafe and that is why they set the December deadline.
On Dec. 10, 2018 the church found housing for 8 families still living in tents. A majority of the people at tent city were workers from out of town.
No one was arrested as the individuals left the area.
"For a month, Forest Park UMC and the Alabama-West Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church have been working tirelessly to assist individuals of the tent city in Panama City.
We have found that the vast majority are contractors from other parts of the country and we wish them well as they return to their homes in other states.
With the help of the United Methodist Committee on Relief, we were able to connect the dozen or so disaster-displaced individuals with the services they needed to start to rebuild their lives.
Now that the situation is drawing to a close and the tent city is being disbanded, we want to thank Panama City Mayor Greg Brudnicki, the Panama City Police Department and the Panama City community at large for opening their hearts to this community and for making their transition to where they will live next as smooth as possible. "
-The Alabama-West Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church
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