As of 11 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 21, the park will once again close at night, forcing the community that has been staying there since Sept. 21 to remove their tents and belongings, or risk being kicked out or ticketed for trespassing.
Charlottesville City Manager Sam Sanders announced the decision Friday afternoon, a little over a week before the change will take place.
From Oct. 21 night on, the park will be open to visitors from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
Sanders lifted the curfew on Thursday, Sept. 21, after an alleged altercation between city police and two unhoused community members who were in the park after hours. Soon after, a tent community began to grow; dozens of people are now living in the park.
Sanders’ decision to reinstate the curfew is influenced by a couple of things, according to a city press release. One is that People And Congregations Engaged in Ministry (PACEM) will open its seasonal overnight shelter on Oct. 21. PACEM’s seasonal shelter was due to open on Oct. 28, but is opening a week earlier to help shelter folks in the park, Liz Yohn (formerly Nyberg), PACEM’s operations manager, wrote in a press release. They’ll have capacity for about 35 men and 15 women.
Another is that there are open shelter beds at the Salvation Army, located at 207 Ridge St. In order to help PACEM, the shelter will have an additional 16 beds, 8 each for women and men, said resident shelter and kitchen manager Brenda Smith.
Sanders will give a more detailed update during Monday’s City Council meeting, which starts at 6:30 p.m. Register to attend, or watch virtually, here.
If you are seeking resources from People and Congregations Engaged in Ministry (PACEM), visit their website or call 434-465-2800. The Salvation Army is at 207 Ridge St. in Charlottesville, or call 434-295-4058. Looking for resources for housing, health, transportation and other types of support? Bookmark Street Sheet Resources, produced and kept up to date by various agencies. It has resources you can use or share with neighbors, and have printable versions in many languages.
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Read more about Market Street Park and those who are seeking shelter
Charlottesville had — and lost — a shelter that social workers say could have helped hundreds of unhoused people off the streets
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The city lifted the park’s curfew after residents complained that police were harassing people staying there overnight.
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