SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) – A South San Jose neighborhood has had enough with a growing homeless camp that has been behind their homes for years. The state is now stepping in to kick the encampment out.
For the five year he has lived in the Pinehurst neighborhood, Harlow Blub said he has dealt with some rowdy neighbors. “Totally frustrating, it’s been an endless struggle, it seems like,” Blum told KPIX 5.
These neighbors don’t live next door. They live in a homeless encampment behind his backyard wall.
“A lot of noise, they have pets back there, dogs are barking, sometimes they argue,” Blum said, “the smells of human defecation back there.”
Blum said the smell from those drainage ducts in the wall became so bad, he decided to plug them up permanently.
He said the fire department has been called out three times over the years to respond to fires at the camp.
Blum’s grandchildren won’t even set foot in his backyard anymore. “They’re kind of scared to come in the backyard and play. So they basically stay inside,” he said.
Neighbors said the number of homeless living at the camp has grown this year. They think that’s because of the recent closure of the huge homeless camp known as “The Jungle.”
The residents said calls to police and the city haven’t gotten them anywhere, because the camp sits on state-owned property. Now, they’re hearing Caltrans will kick out the homeless next week.
Some living in the encampment told KPIX 5 they will probably just move across the street.
“I can understand where they’re coming from, I really can. But we have to be somewhere. I don’t know what else to do,” said Steve Knowlton, who lives in the encampment.
A member of the City Council is asking Caltrans to build a fence line along the encampment.