Tent City

Tent City is a community of otherwise homeless and/or low-income individuals who live in low-cost shanties or tents.  It is a makeshift village that exists in relative harmony with nature and is situated on unused forested "public land" in Lakewood Township, NJ, USA.

It all started in 2005 with a handful of homeless people from this area trying to find shelter.  But thanks to the assistance from Minister Steve Brigham (of the Lakewood Outreach Ministries Church) as well as other local supporters and through mutual aid, they were able to put up tents and gradually work toward attaining a better way of life. Many residents have since been able to find stable employment and move out of Tent City.  

In these hard economic times, the need for a community like Tent City is now greater than ever.  Tent City's resident population currently includes about 80 people that are being provided with basic shelter, heat, food, water, access to sanitation, and various other essential needs, thanks to our network of wonderful supporters and volunteers.  In addition, there is a Church service provided daily for the residents of the camp by Minister Steve. Tent City's residents and supporters come from many different backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities, religious beliefs, and countries of origin, but together, we are one community united by circumstance and common human values.

The municipal government of Lakewood has often been a hindrance to our efforts, despite the fact that Tent City is saving local taxpayers millions of dollars! Lakewood is a much cleaner, safer and more hopeful place than it would have been if a community like Tent City was not existence and everyone was left to fend for themselves in isolation. Repeated attempts have been made to destroy Tent City, even though its residents have no other alternatives. Now, more than 7 years later, the battle for Tent City's survival seems more perilous than ever...

We hope that you, dear visitor, will be able to use this Web-site to learn about our community - its challenges and successes. Please LIKE us on Facebook for all the latest news, media, and discussion. If you wish to learn more, you are very welcome to visit the campsite in person. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or comments. Minister Steve Brigham can be reached at 732-364-0340.

Please send us even a very small online donation, to show your support, and to help us keep warm this winter... Every penny counts!

UPDATE - February 6, 2014

The Lakewood PD officers have started coming to Tent City again, intending to kick out anyone without a census pass!

This is the middle of winter, and these people have no better place to go!

We believe the timing of this is in retaliation for Minister Steve Brigham attending the Ocean County Freeholders Meeting yesterday... The Freeholders were hostile to Monsignor James J Brady, who accompanied Brigham. They were also unsympathetic to Paul, an elderly Tent City resident with a disability, who spoke about finding jobs for the homeless...

PLEASE HELP US SPREAD THE WORD! Share this story! Call the press! Send e-mails!

The Fort Lee lane closure scandal isn't the only example of political retaliation taking place in NJ!

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Latest YouTube Videos

ChasingNJ - "Tent City Survives 2nd Snow Storm" - Jan 22, 2014:

NJTV - "Tent City Residents Brave Bitter Cold to Stay With Belongings" - Jan 7, 2014:

"I'm Free" (Who cover) by Tent City resident Michael Berenzweig:

170+ more Tent City videos on: YouTube, Vimeo

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See Tent City

MLK Day / Weekend of January 18-20, 2014...

Gallery of 12 images:   Download Zip Facebook

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General photos of Tent City:

Gallery of 163 images:   Download Zip Facebook

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About This Web-site

WillCodeForFood

Just as we've built Tent City ourselves from scratch, with a lot of elbow grease and determination, this Web-site was also designed "in house", by an otherwise-homeless resident of Tent City. We apologize if it's a little rough around the edges...

The content of this Web-site is automatically generated from an independently-hosted Wiki Site, where anybody can collaboratively suggest edits and submit content. Our original ambition was to follow the example of the San Francisco Homeless Resource Wiki, but to accomplish this we'll need a lot of "citizen journalist" volunteers from all over New Jersey to help us...

If/when this Tent City is shut down, other Tent Cities in New Jersey will continue to grow - and so should this Web-site / Wiki. There are well over 12,000 homeless people in New Jersey, and many more are "just one paycheck away" from homelessness. A lot of these homeless people are falling through the cracks and would be much better off in a well-organized Tent City, located out of the way on "public land"...

You can also e-mail feedback and content contributions to web@tentcitynj.org.

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