Homeless man says city wants him out of backyard tent

Homeless man says city wants him out of backyard tent

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by RAD BERKY / NewsChannel 36

Bio | Email | Follow: @RadBerkywcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on February 1, 2012 at 1:07 AM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 1 at 1:02 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The tent Todd Pealer has lived in for the last two years is gone.

"I had to tear it back down. I tore it down," said a teary Pealer, who goes by the name 'Shorty.'"

Pealer has had the tent pitched all this time in the backyard of a home on North Brevard Street that is owned by three elderly sisters, all in their 80's.

In return for the space in their yard, Pealer has helped the sisters by doing odd jobs for them and for many of the neighbors.

But today, Pealer said a Charlotte Code Enforcement officer paid him a visit after his story aired Monday night on NewsChannel 36.

"City said they were going to come here and start fining these lovely people that I love," Pealer said.

Not wanting to see the sisters have to pay a fine, he took down the tent.

"These are people I love and I cherish and they have been there for me," he said.

Caroline Voelkers, who lives around the corner, knows Shorty and the three sisters and can't believe he is being forced to leave.

"The original story was how much Todd appreciates them, but really it is all Todd does for them," said Voelkers. "He is on their property with their permission. I just don't understand it."

June Lackey is one of the three sisters who are now faced with saying goodbye to a friend. Asked where Shorty would go, Lackey said, "I don't know."

NewsChannel 36 contacted the manager of the Charlotte Code Enforcement Office. He said he would look into the matter and would have something to say on Wednesday.

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