Homeless couple seeking new spot for RVs after Omaha neighbors complain of eyesore

Two people living in RVs are faced with moving camp after the city of Omaha said they must leave their current location.
Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 10:25 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - There are many reports of homeless camps in Omaha, but one in the northwest part of the city is a bit out of the ordinary.

While there are no tents, it’s still an eyesore.

The homeless people living in RVs parked behind a closed Godfather’s Pizza near 90th and Grant say the property manager gave them an ultimatum they can’t rebuke: get out in one week.

Shawna Brink says she owns two of the RVs donated to her when she had no place to live, but when the spot she lined up fell through, a relative towed the 50-year-old Winnebagos next to another camper, creating a homeless camp on wheels.

“I’m trying [to move],” Brink said. “We have no choice. If I have to roll it downhill, that’s what I’ll do.”

The RVs might be on wheels, but that doesn’t mean they move.

“This one has no engine, [and this] RV only goes in reverse,” Brink said, pointing to the vehicles.

Her other RV, which needs brake work, is where Brinks partner, Richard Fordyce, is living.

“We’re trying, we’re looking,” Fordyce said. “We have a deadline and we’re trying to get out of here as soon as possible. We’re not trying to be an eyesore for the neighborhood.”

The RVs are parked along an alley that runs behind businesses and a large apartment complex is nearby.

Christine Fortnor lives in one of those apartment units. She has begun to take notice of the nearby RV eyesore.

“I can’t automatically think they would not be law-abiding, but I sure hope they are and wouldn’t be a bother because we have so many cars that park out here all day and all night,” Fortnor said.

The RV occupants say they’ll clean up the area.

Though admitting it doesn’t look pretty, the three adults who live in these RVs say they want the neighbors to know they’re not dangerous.

“The cops come here, they know, they see and realize we’re not doing anything wrong,” Brink said. “We’re not here to hurt anybody. We’re not bad people.”

Fordyce told 6 News the only law they’ve broken was hooking up to an electrical outlet at a nearby business, which earned them a police citation.

“We’re just trying to charge batteries so we can get one [of the RVs] started up,” Fordyce said. “They want us out of here so we’re trying to move it.”

The homeless services coordinator for the Omaha Mayor’s Office says she’s working on getting the RV occupants a better place and connected to services like electricity and water.

A representative of the property owners also tells 6 News that she’s working with the city and police to accommodate a resolution to the uninvited RVs.

A deadline for removing the vehicles has been set for Sept. 18 or the city has promised the property manager it will remove them.