Activists opposing any effort to force people out of an encampment outside Hillsborough County Courthouse anticipated some move to clear the camp Wednesday, but the camp was still intact Wednesday evening.
The state had announced it planned to clear the camp site Monday. Monday morning, activists started flocking to the courthouse lawn to protest the prospect of removing homeless people from state property without providing another place to stay.
Since Monday, dozens of activists have stayed at the camp. One said some planned to link arms around the tents in an effort to protect the people staying there and their property from law enforcement. Rumors flew about the possibility of someone removing people, and confiscating or destroying their property.
By 7 p.m. Wednesday, no one had been removed from the camp and no property had been destroyed. City police were patrolling the area.
Gov. Chris Sununu sent a letter to the 13 mayors who criticized him earlier this month for not having a plan to deal with homelessness in the state.
Though Sununu maintained his position that homelessness is best dealt with by individual cities and towns, he agreed to update the state’s response to homelessness, which has languished since 2006.
Sununu also reminded city leaders that their budgets contained state funds earmarked to combat homelessness, and asked mayors to support a bill he hopes will help ease the state’s housing shortage.
But Sununu said any future funding would be up to the new Legislature.