San Jose will clean up a large RV camp in Columbus Park

The city of San Jose has announced that it will begin cleaning up the large encampment at Columbus Park in the coming days. They have already cleared a nearby encampment after the Federal Aviation Administration asked them to do so. At present, there are still over a hundred RVs in Columbus Park.

“I believe Friday they’re going to come by and they’re going to come and get what’s not working,” said Patricia Gonzalez, who lives in her RV in Columbus Park.

City of San Jose officials say there are about 140 vehicles currently unserviceable at Columbus Park. Some people who live there say they are trying to figure out where they will go once the camp is cleared. Patricia Gonzalez said she had been homeless since 2019 and was living in this RV in the park.

“I’m just trying to see if I can find someone to help me, and if not, I don’t know what’s going to happen. It might just get towed away,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez said her RV isn’t working, and she hopes the city will help her get it fixed, so she can move it. She says if her motorhome is towed, she will sleep in her van which she is able to drive. Others there say they will do the same.

“I’m separated from my child because I didn’t want him to live here with me like this,” Sarra Cummings said.

Cummings says she’s been living in that van for two months after being kicked out and leaving a long-term relationship. She also says she is on a waiting list for permanent housing.

“I always wanted to be on the other side helping homeless people. I didn’t know I would end up like this. It’s a trip where things turn,” Cummings said.

San Jose officials say they continue to offer support services to camp residents and connect them with housing and shelter opportunities. Eugene Blackwell says he is using a hotel voucher at the moment, but expects permanent accommodation to become available soon. He says he waited eight years.

SEE ALSO: Homeless population in Alameda County nears 10,000

“Mixed emotions. I’m happy because I finally got accommodation, but at the same time I’m sad because there are a lot of people here, a lot of women and children who really need it right now. At the moment, it’s pretty mixed emotions about it,” Blackwell said.

The city of San Jose said the encampment was unsafe for people and it would begin evacuating people from Columbus Park from Oct. 11 to Nov. 18.

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