SAN JOSE (KCBS)— Residents of the country’s largest homeless encampment want the city of San Jose to improve their living conditions. Residents of the Jungle specifically want to know what San Jose’s mayoral candidates would be willing to do to help them.

The city of San Jose has contracted to have three portable bathrooms available for residents of the Jungle homeless encampment at Story and Senter Roads, but those porta-potties are only open eight hours a day, which resident Grace said isn’t long enough to keep the encampment even close to sanitary.

“I live here right now in the Jungle. I feel that they’re punishing us. I feel that in my heart that’s what they’re doing to us,” she said.

In addition to 24-hour porta-potty access in encampment areas, San Jose’s homeless are asking for an end to police harassment and city sweeps and for the city to provide funding to end homelessness.

Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese is running for mayor and said efforts do need to be made to make encampments livable.

“It is a tough balance, but moving them along to nowhere except another bridge, creek or overpass doesn’t make any sense either,” Cortese said.

The homeless want the candidates to go on record and say what they will do to help solve the problem of homelessness.

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