- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 4, 2016

DALLAS (AP) - A Dallas homeless camp that once had about 200 residents has closed amid safety and security concerns.

Wednesday was the deadline set by city leaders to have the so-called Tent City shut down and residents moved to shelters or other housing. Social workers and volunteers spent several weeks assisting the last of the homeless people who were living under an Interstate 45 bridge with relocation.

The city said the closure was caused by a string of violence in the camp, including murders and stabbings. Dallas police are investigating two deaths at the homeless camp since January.

About 75 people were still at the site late Monday, but the number dwindled to just a handful by Tuesday, when a bulldozer tore down remaining tents and helped clear debris. There wasn’t much resistance, but one couple chained themselves to a concrete pillar in protest before eventually leaving. Some moved their belongings to other homeless sites.

Officials from the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance visited each tent to make sure no one was in them before the site was cleared.

“Tent City is officially closed as of right now,” said Ron Cowart, supervisor with the City of Dallas Crisis Intervention Unit. “People are putting up the fences and securing it.”

Citizens’ groups have pressured the city to address the encampment, which was highly visible from Interstate 30 near downtown and held about 300 people at one point.

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