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Crews Clear North San Jose Homeless Encampment on Apple Property – CBS San Francisco

SAN JOSE (KPIX) – The crews began the final cleanup on Thursday at one of the Bay Area’s most famous homeless camps in South Bay.

The warehouse is located on 55 acres of vacant land in North San Jose owned by Apple.

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Green flyers were posted informing camp residents that the site would begin closing at 7 a.m. on September 2. The flyers warned that any remaining materials would be removed. Valuables would be stored for 90 days, the rest will be transported to the landfill.

Crews worked much of the day, using bulldozers to scrape the debris into large trash cans and throw up noxious clouds of dust that reeked of human waste and raw sewage.

On August 13, Apple announced a partnership with HomeFirst and said the company would give the nonprofit “several million dollars” to clean up the website and provide shelter for the more than 60 people in the camp.

The residents were offered three types of interim accommodation: a motel room, an emergency bed or a secure parking space. Apple would cover the costs for the case for nine months and the case management for twelve months.

HomeFirst CEO Andrea Urton described Apple’s offer as “generous” and referred to recent major donations from local technology giants. Google and Facebook have donated $ 1 billion, and Apple has pledged $ 2.5 billion to build affordable housing and fund homeless initiatives.

“I don’t think American companies are doing enough. I think there are good people in America. I meet a lot of them every day. And yet I think companies could lean more to be part of the solution. And that means providing resources, financial resources, be it land, whether it’s working with developers to build affordable housing for their employees. Whatever it is, they have to be part of the solution with the city and county, ”said Urton.

She pointed out that funding from the private sector is needed as local government agencies are under budgeted.

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“The city and the district are currently doing everything they can, and have been doing so for two years. They are underserved and tired, just like all of us. So if big corporations step in and provide the resources that nonprofits need to be part of the solution, together we can actually end homelessness effectively, ”said Urton.

HomeFirst response teams had offered accommodation to Robert Carlson, who has been on site for several months. But with several large vehicles including an RV, Carlson declined the housing and chose to go solo.

“It’s part of life, isn’t it? Trials and trials, man, ”Carlson said. “Well, we were all one big family here. We were a big family. I already miss everyone. “

Deborah Kempkoble, who has also lived on the premises for several months, accepted the offer for a motel room on the Monterey Highway and said her story “may have a happy ending”.

“You will help me get teeth. Because I don’t have any, do you understand? They will help me get teeth, ”said Kempkoble. “It’s easier to find a job when you have teeth.”

The new construction of a 2.70 meter high black metal fence now surrounds part of the property, which is guarded by a sizeable contingent of Apple’s private security guards.

Regarding Thursday’s cleanup, Apple referred to an earlier statement posted in August:

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“Apple has long been focused on tackling the housing crisis across California and working with partners to support communities at risk and provide new affordable units. As the challenges for tenants and potential homeowners continue to increase, we have accelerated our support and have already allocated over $ 1 billion to new projects since early 2020. In San Jose we have been working closely with local partners for several months to identify alternative housing options and to support families who will leave the Component Drive location. We are contracting with HomeFirst – a leading local provider of services, accommodation and accommodation – to provide resources directly to ensure that those currently on that location have access to a range of accommodation, Have resources for casework and other support services. “

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