Ontario, CA, Tent City Residents Required to Wear Wristbands


David Kelly,
Los Angeles Times
March 30, 2009

Dozens of Ontario police and code enforcement officers descended upon the homeless encampment known as Tent City early Monday, separating those who could stay from those to be evicted.

[efoods]Large, often confused, crowds formed ragged lines behind police barricades where officers handed out color-coded wristbands. Blue meant they were from Ontario and could remain. Orange indicated they had to provide more proof to avoid ejection, and white meant they had a week to leave.”

Many who had taken shelter at the camp — which had grown from 20 to more than 400 residents in nine months — lacked paperwork, bills or birth certificates proving they were once Ontario residents.

“When my husband gets out of jail he can bring my marriage certificate; will that count?” asked one tearful woman.

Another resident, clearly confused, seemed relieved to get a white band — not understanding it meant she had to leave.

Pattie Barnes, 47, who had her motor home towed away last week, shook with anger.

“They are tagging us because we are homeless,” she said, staring at her orange wristband. “It feels like a concentration camp.”

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