Homeless scared and confused ahead of Caltrans sweep of encampment in San Jose

People living in one of San Jose's largest homeless encampments got notice that Caltrans will be clearing out the area this week, prompting fear and confusion for the 100 people or so who normally live there and bringing out faith leaders to protest clearing out the camp.

Caltrans planned the sweep on Monday morning, where many homeless who typically camp out near the Interstate 280/US 101 southbound overpass had already packed up and moved along. The city of San Jose planned to come out on Wednesday and clean up the surrounding area and sidewalks, a pastor said. Church groups came out to protest. Caltrans did not immediately respond for comment.

“It’s confusing,” Tony Pineda told KTVU. “We don’t know where we’re going. We’re being pushed off and we don’t even know what direction we’re going in.”   

The Mercury News reports San Jose has counted some 200 homeless encampments within its borders, many replacing the now-shuttered “Jungle” in 2014, where some 300 to 400 homeless people had been living in Kelley Park.

Homeless shelters and numerous other special housing programs and nonprofits serve just a fraction of the 4,350 people homeless in San Jose on any given night, the Mercury News reported.