Harrisburg extends deadline for people to leave Mulberry Street Bridge campground

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (WHTM) — The City of Harrisburg is extending the deadline for people to move out of their homeless camp under the Mulberry Street Bridge. City officials said it is crime-ridden and rat-infested, and that they want to solve both of these problems.

The city had asked residents to leave by the end of Thursday, January 19, but they now have the weekend to move. The city said social service groups have requested a few extra days because of the rain expected Thursday.

Social service groups were in the camp on Wednesday afternoon helping people prepare for the move.

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“Yes, we will stay here until the job is done,” said Ayesha Mobley, who works with Christian Churches United (CCU). “We have all these groups here that come in to help and take different shifts to do different things.”

Nonprofits like CCU are determined to help. Mobley said it was hard telling residents they had to leave.

“There was pain, anguish, trauma, and people are really entrenched here, and they’ve been here for a while,” she said.

Still, she said, the nonprofit’s continued provision of services helped smooth things over.

“We go out here regularly, we’ve been out here since April 2020, we go out here, so they know us,” she said.

Mobley and other groups in the city came out to the camp on Wednesday to distribute moving supplies such as boxes.

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“We distribute totes, all sizes and types, hand warmers, tarps, and large, sturdy trash bags,” Mobley said. “We have Starfish Services, they’ve offered their vans and trucks.”

Mobley said they’re also using the extended deadline to connect people to more services like laundry ahead of the move.

“We know the rain is coming tomorrow, so we want to be able to at least get them inside for a while, get their clothes cleaned and zipped up and get ready for the next big move that’s going to happen onriday,” she said. .

City officials said they will work with their partners in the Metropolitan Area Coalition on Homelessness to move people by the end of the weekend. The city has a new site where people from the camp can go, but they don’t advertise this site to protect the residents’ privacy.