SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — The homeless encampment on Apache Avenue began to fill up after the encampment on Truman Parkway was cleared out back in October. After speaking to some workers and officials who are directly dealing with the encampment, we learned that the overall situation is improving.

The encampment concerned residents due to the fact that it was located in a wooded area between two neighborhoods.

According to Alderman Kurtis Purtee, the area had seen an uptick in thefts and drug use in the area since the encampment was inhabited.

In today’s press conference, Mayor Van Johnson acknowledged the encampment emphasizing that owners of private property must be respected.

“It’s private property, the owner should be able to regulate who is on their property,” said Johnson.

Purtee estimates that about 20 people from the encampment have accepted resources, some have even been reunited with family.

He insists that reunification is the ultimate goal – but that can be tough if the people they try to help are not from Savannah.

“The biggest thing we look at is to try and reunite some of their folks with their family. If they are not from Savannah or don’t have roots here, we try to get them ahold of family that has not spoken to them in a while,” said Purtee

Although significant progress has been made, the alderman emphasizes that there is a lot of work to be done.

He says this is an issue that doesn’t just impact those without homes but the entire community around them.

“There’s people taking resources, and there is some that are not. We are still trying to work through some of that to make things better. Not just for the roofless folks, but the folks in our community whose lives are being affected by those who are roofless, ” Purtee said.