City officials shut down homeless camp at former gas station in south Charlotte

CHARLOTTE — The Charlotte area is struggling with growing homelessness that is spilling onto vacant properties.

A camp for people experiencing homelessness was recently removed from a vacant gas station in south Charlotte, one man told Channel 9.

There have been complaints about loitering at the former Exxon on the corner of Woodlawn Road and South Boulevard. Channel 9 spoke with Kenneth Miller, who had been living on the corner. Miller said police showed up Friday and gave everyone 10 minutes to leave the property.

“All my belongings (were) here,” he said. “It’s in the trash wherever the private contractor took it, because there were two dump trucks. Took it. I don’t know where. The city dump or whatever.”

Mecklenburg County Commissioner Pat Cotham said she has passed the Woodlawn Road gas station several times.

“I can understand that the owner of the property wants them to leave but there’s a way to do it,” Cotham said.

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It’s a complicated issue for city and county officials challenged by the area’s growing population of people experiencing homelessness.

“I have gone to the courthouse where you see eviction lists that’s this long,” Cotham said. “So every day, there are more homeless people. Could we do more? Sure, but I’m proud of the work we’ve done.”

After months of being vacant, Mecklenburg County tax records show that the gas station was sold in April for $2 million. It is now owned by a company based in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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