Authorities began Thursday dismantling a notorious homeless camp known as “The Jungle” in the heart of California’s affluent Silicon Valley.
Municipal workers in white overalls and face masks moved into the camp along a creek in San Jose, where some 300 people live in tents and other makeshift lodging.
The encampment, only a few minutes away from the city’s downtown district, is home to people forced out of an overheating rental market as lucrative tech companies moved in in recent years.
“We have been rehousing for the last 18 months,” San Jose city spokesman David Vossbrink told AFP, saying they had found places for some 140 people in shelters, with some in hotels and motels.
Some 60 other people had received offers of rent subsidies but have not yet found somewhere to live, he added.
The operation to close down the camp will last two or three weeks, and will include putting up a reinforced fence to prevent anyone coming back and settling in again.
But the spokesman admitted that those forced to leave the “Jungle” could not all expect to be housed by the city, which has budgeted nearly $10 million over three years for homeless.
San Jose is counting on a refuge set to open for the winter to house some 200 people of Santa Clara County’s estimated 5,000-7,000 homeless, he said.
The city, with its population of around one million, has one of America’s highest proportions of homeless people.
The spokesman attributed the problem to various factors, including the 2008 global financial crisis, exorbitant rents fueled by the tech boom, and the scarcity of unskilled jobs.
Vossbrink said the “Jungle” had to be cleared because it posed security, public health and pollution problems, and because of looming winter temperatures. “It’s becoming urgent,” he said.
But some activists are protesting the operation.
Scott Wagers, a pastor who heads a homeless support association, said the camp developed over the last two years, after the clearance of another slum in San Jose.
“The people are just going to move to another place that will become another jungle,” he said.
Arizona Republican likens Trump’s loss to Japan getting nuked while losing WW II — but as a good thing
President Donald Trump on Monday allowed President-elect Joe Biden's transition to proceed -- while vowing he would never concede.
Despite Trump losing the election, some Trump supporters are refusing to accept the outcome.
One Arizona Republican in Congress, Paul Gosar, drew upon the historical knowledge him learned on his way to becoming a dentist in a bizarre analogy he posted on Twitter.
Gosar suggested the Trump movement would be like an Imperial Japanese soldier in World War II who refused to surrender until 1974.
Neal Katyal predicts law schools will teach a ‘Worst Mistakes in Court’ class on Trump’s ‘pathetic’ 20-day fiasco
Prominent lawyer Neal Katyal is best known for having tried over 40 cases before the United States Supreme Court and serving as acting Solicitor General during the Obama administration.
But he also has spent more than two decades as a law professor at Georgetown.
He drew upon all of that experience for a Monday evening appearance on MSNBC's "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell.
"Someday a law school class is going to be called 'The Worst Mistakes in Court' -- and it will be just about these 20 days," Katyal predicted. "Because this legal strategy is so pathetic it makes Trump's coronavirus strategy look competent by contrast."
Trump vows he ‘will never concede’ — in 11 pm conspiracy-filled rant
Donald Trump lost the 2020 presidential to President-elect Joe Biden, but is still refusing to concede.
White House aides reportedly convinced him to allow Biden to begin his transition by telling him he did not need to use the word "concede."
But that word appeared to be on his mind late Monday night.
"What does GSA being allowed to preliminarily work with the Dems have to do with continuing to pursue our various cases on what will go down as the most corrupt election in American political history?" Trump asked while continuing to lie about the election being corrupt.