Bangor Police will work with the occupants of a tent city on the waterfront this week to help them relocate.

Complaints about the homeless encampment have been lodged with municipal and law enforcement agencies over the past several weeks, and have exploded on social media. Many people have said they wouldn't object to the tents, if they were kept neat. But garbage has piled up, as well as needles and human waste, causing a health hazard, as well as safety concerns. City officials met this week and came up with a plan to deal with the tent dwellers.

Bangor Police Chief Mark Hathaway announced this week that police officers, mental health case managers, and a public health nurse will be working with the occupants of the tent city, to help them find another place to live. The BDN reports officials will try to get as many as possible into shelters, and may even pay for some to relocate out of state if they can prove they have a safe place to go.

They expect that there will be resistance, but officers are used to that, as they've dealt with homeless encampments before. Some people don't want to follow the rules of shelters, prefer being out on their own to continue their drug use, or just don't like being told where they can and cannot live. Still others are dealing with mental health issues that make it difficult for them to live in communal settings or even care for themselves.

Officials have said that most of the people living on the waterfront are not from the Bangor area, but have relocated to the city.  The increase in housing with the takeover of the Ramada Inn and the fact that tents, clothes, and other personal care items are regularly being handed out to the needy has established Bangor as a 'service center,' which is appealing to homeless from areas without those services. The shelters are filling up, with only a few beds currently available. But police and health officials will do what they can to find better places for the tent dwellers to stay, while reclaiming the waterfront as a safe recreational area.

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