Growing concerns about new homeless encampment forming near San Jose airport

The City of San Jose says it’s cleared nearly all the area near the airport where a homeless encampment had been settled since last year. But now there are growing concerns about the park nearby where it seems many of those from the encampment have moved.  

After the city began clearing the area, some people from the encampment simply packed their things and moved to nearby Columbus Park. Right now, it seems the city is allowing them to stay there.   

David Koehler says he has a plot at the Guadalupe community garden near San Jose’s Columbus Park, and he’s concerned about the number of RV’s he sees on nearby streets.  

"The parking is hard because there are so many transitory motor homes here that we can’t actually enjoy the community garden," said Koehler.   

Koehler says the RVs have simply moved from one side of the street to the other since the city began clearing the encampment.  

"People that use the garden are very bothered by it and worried by it, but there haven’t been any recent incidents or anything. I think most people are just trying to get a decent night’s sleep and sleep where they can," Koehler said.   

San Jose city housing officials say so far they’ve provided 160 people with temporary or permanent housing, as they clear the 40-acre property owned by the San Jose International Airport. The City also says they continue offering services and resources to those who were living in the encampment. 

"There is no affordable housing. That’s why there’s so many RVs and people. It’s sad," said Cheryl Imus, who owns an RV and parks it near Columbus Park.  

Imus said she had been living in the encampment for over a year, but she’s been without a permanent house for about four years. She says she’s working with the City to get back into her own home as soon as she can.  

RELATED: San Jose begins final phase of clearing encampment near Columbus Park

"Not everybody out here has mental issues, for one thing. There are people on this street that go to work during the day. There are nice people out here and then at the same time it’s unsafe," Imus said.  

The space owned by the Airport has to be cleared by September 30 and the City says they’re on track to do that. San Jose also says they’re monitoring the situation at Columbus Park, but their priority is meeting the Federal Aviation Administration requirement.