Some South Bay Homeless Return To Illegal Encampment

SAN JOSE (KCBS) – With this week’s wet weather, sleeping on the streets is a much more difficult proposition for many homeless people in the Bay Area. In fact, in San Jose, some are returning to an illegal encampment that was just cleared out on Tuesday along the banks of Coyote Creek.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

“When we live here, it’s not so dirty. But after they clean-up, it looks like a disaster field,” said Thai Tran, one of several people who returned to reclaim their camp on Wednesday and clean it up.

“What you see now is a pile of garbage. If we don’t clean it up, eventually, if it doesn’t dissolve by itself, it’s going to sit here forever,” he said.

Various agencies are trying to move the homeless into more permanent housing. Jenny Niklaus with EHC LifeBuilders said they have recruited the formerly homeless to reach out to those who refuse to come in from the cold.

“Many of them are very knowledgeable sort of people that are living on the street. They know them and that makes our success at engagement much higher,” said Niklaus.

She said the winter homeless shelters that opened this week will stay open longer and possibly with extra staff during periods of heavy rain.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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