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Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013 | 5:51 p.m.
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Posted: 10:30 p.m. Thursday, March 7, 2013
SAN JOSE, Calif. —
Time is running out for a large homeless encampment that has been growing for months in San Jose.
The 120 people who live there have been told to move on their own by Friday morning or they may be forced out.
Thursday night many of the people camping there were not prepared to leave.
They said they understand that they have to vacate, but many said they don't know where to go and having to battle the elements doesn't help
Isabelle Romero brings food to an old friend who has been living at the homeless encampment on the outskirts of downtown San Jose for months.
"He's almost like a child and now they're evicting him," said Romero. "A homeless man being evicted, isn't that ridiculous?"
Larry Silva hadn't packed yet, even though he may be forced to leave the area at 7 a.m. Friday.
"I don't know for sure, just put stuff in the cart and go. I don't know," said Silva.
Emotions ran high at the camp.
One homeless woman confronted a bicyclist whom she believed was stealing from her.
It's the reason there will be security on hand when the clean-up starts.
"Encampments of that size pose serious public health and safety risks," said Ray Bramson, San Jose's project manager for encampments.
He was hired late last year and put in charge of cleaning up the city's 60 homeless encampments.
"Right now we're focused on the Spring and Heddy site," said Bramson.
The proximity of the camp to major transit lines, city streets and the highway was also worrisome.
"We were concerned people exposed in that area could be victimized," he added.
Over the past few days, 20 of the most vulnerable residents here have been relocated.
But resources are scarce and many people, including Larry Silva, have refused help.
"I'm going to try to find him a place and it's probably going to be on the street, but he needs a place to go," said Romero.
Others will likely stay in the area or try to return.
Census figures show there are 5,000 homeless people in San Jose.
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