In 2005, a small camp of homeless residents began in Lakewood Township, New Jersey. And it grew. Because there were no other homeless sanctuaries in Ocean County, the tent city was permitted to exist by order of the county supreme court (despite multiple lawsuits and efforts made by Lakewood Township to evict the community). Lakewood Tent City was run by Minister Steve Brigham, who also became homeless as a result of his efforts to run the camp. It served as a refuge for more than 120 people at at a time for almost a decade. New residents arrived daily by bus, taxi and walking for temporary and long-term stays. Over time, the encampment became widely known in the media and through several independent documentaries tracking the stories of the residents. While the encampment gathered widespread local and regional support, he township of Lakewood opposed its existence. Lakewood authorities conducted a census and worked to slowly move residents out of the camp. In spite of countless pro-bono legal efforts, the township prevailed in court and on Independence Day, July 4, 2014 the encampment was shut down.