We are thrilled to share this very positive sign of progress and hope on this difficult issue —
Detroit — The unofficial mayor and others residing at a makeshift tent city downtown have accepted an offer for refuge, officials confirmed Friday.
After spending seven months at the site on Jefferson, Stephon Charles Jones, the “mayor” of the tent community, agreed to a stable housing arrangement. The campers have moved to a private location within two miles of where they had been residing, said Alexis Wiley, the chief of staff for Mayor Mike Duggan.
Wiley confirmed that Jones and about 10 other campers have taken up the offer facilitated by the Neighborhood Service Organization.
News of the move comes one day after Duggan vowed to continue sending social service workers to the tents to try to move the homeless individuals into buildings. The mayor also stressed that the conditions were not safe and that the city could soon take action on the tented living quarters off east Jefferson Avenue, between Rivard and St. Aubin.
“We’re going to have to solve that,” the mayor told reporters as he toured the North American International Auto Show at Cobo Center on Thursday.
In a Friday phone interview with The News, Jones said he feels good about taking the help and that it was provided to everyone. Initially, he resisted any offers for housing.
“What basically made me change my mind is everybody got the chance to move, not just one individual,” he said. “That’s what I wanted to do.
“I feel good about it,” he said. “Nobody is out in the cold no more.”