Northampton homeless encampment concerns neighbors as Mass. shelters reach capacity

Last winter, Terry “Tree” North was able to leave his tent at an encampment near Texas Road and stay at a Northampton shelter. This year, as the temperature continues to drop, North said he doesn’t know where he will go as shelters are at or are near capacity in Northampton and across the state.

At the same time, as the blanket of falling foliage has revealed the previously unseen tents near some residents’ backyards, a new set of neighbors across the Mill River have added their voices to complain about the encampments on the dead-end street.

Given the complaints, North said he isn’t sure whether he will be forced to leave the encampment, which has been his home-base for around two years.

“I haven’t heard anything from a direct worker and I don’t see any signs up so I’m not sure what’s really going on,” North said. “If they don’t want us staying here, maybe they should give us a place to stay.”

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Photo by Terry "Tree" North.