SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — San Jose city police and crews moved in to clean up and shut down the homeless camp known as the “Jungle” Thursday, but now it looks like they have another problem on their hands.
Most of the former camp residents have found housing. Others migrated to a Walmart on Story Road less than half a mile away with their shopping carts full of personal belongings in tow.
But the last 30 or so diehards stayed until the very last minute.
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“Everybody has to start over again and find a new Jungle, a new place that we don’t get in trouble,” said Andrew, who had been the Jungle’s longest resident of six years.
Former camper Robert said they’ve even found with a new location on Tully Road at Mclaughlin Avenue where they intend to move.
“I’m planning on organizing as many people as I can to go to a camp and try and get everybody set-up,” Robert said, adding that he’s been collecting tents, sleeping bags and clothes to distribute at the new camp.
At its peak, the Jungle was home to about 350 people, making it one of the largest encampments in the nation. San Jose’s hand was forced by state water and fish and wildlife officials and one environmental group who threatened to sue over the trash and human waste that were polluting Coyote Creek. On Thursday, dozens of cleanup crews aided by bobcats and dump trucks started the two-week long process of clearing out the tons of debris.
The Jungle should be cleared out and fenced off by December 19. After that, as many as four police officers or rangers at a time will be on constant patrol in this area.
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