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Neighbors concerned about people living under bridge

Updated: May. 5, 2021 at 5:36 PM EDT
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LOWVILLE, N.Y. (WWNY) - A startling sight in Lewis County has left some nearby residents asking questions.

If you are traveling to the village of Lowville, you may cross over a bridge to get there. But it’s what’s under the bridge that has neighbors talking.

“It’s, like, no way, not in Lowville. This is Lowville, said Karen Houppert.

She lives near the bridge and is concerned about new neighbors that have moved in under it.

We took a look and noticed a tent, a bicycle with a wagon attached, and some clothes and trash scattered about.

“Needless to say, I made my husband take me for a ride and oh, my God, it was right there. You know, you couldn’t not see it,” said Houppert.

She says she has lived on nearby Clinton Street for decades. She says many of her neighbors have been talking to her as well and are also concerned about this unusual situation

“They don’t have a home. You know, what is their situation? Can they be helped? Again, this is Lowville. There should be lots of support and help,” said Houppert.

She says she isn’t sure how many people are living under the bridge, but Lowville Police Chief Randy Roggie tells 7 News they are people who were evicted from a home in the village.

Then, with no where to go, Roggie says they tried living inside a nearby storage complex, but were asked to vacate for trespassing.

For now, under the bridge seems to be their new home.

Officials at Lewis County Opportunities say there are resources for people looking for housing assistance. Some programs have certain requirements, but that shouldn’t stop people from seeking help.

“Ultimately, I don’t want people to have to worry about that. I just want people to come in, ask questions and we can help point them in the right direction and hopefully try to help them with whatever need it is that they have,” said Scott Mathys, CEO, Lewis County Opportunities.

You may be wondering why they haven’t been asked to leave. According to county officials, the tent under the bridge is on state land so they say their hands are tied in that regard. They say it may take someone calling the sheriff’s department to get help for these people.

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