FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A protest is planned for Thursday night at Stranahan Park in Fort Lauderdale, where dozens of homeless people were forced out of their camps by police in May.
"I feel like they're after us because we have nowhere to go," one woman, Lisa Robinson, said.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida and Southern Legal Counsel have since filed a lawsuit on behalf of 16 homeless people who were among those who were kicked out of the park.
City crews showed up at the park May 19 after the city was cited by the Florida Department of Health for unsanitary conditions at the park.
Homeless people at the park told Local 10 News that they had no notice to leave and garbage trucks were sent out to collect whatever debris and property people couldn't carry off with them.
Many homeless people said they were away from the park when their belongings were seized and thrown out.
"I don't think it's fair," June Parague said.
According to a complaint record from the Health Department, an inspector responded to the park after receiving a complaint about rats in the area, and saw homeless men and women camping at the park.
The inspector also noted "tarps, boxes, trash bags, garbage and several other material accumulation creating harborage for rats."
The Health Department gave the city until June 16 to rectify the situation.