Little League in San Jose Dealing With Growing Homeless Problem

A South Bay Little League is dealing with a growing homeless problem that includes feces and drug use on the field while kids play baseball.

Parents say the homeless have set up in the field's dugouts, and the kids from San Jose's Spartan Little League are scared to play.

"Every year it seems to get worse and worse with the homeless," said Elias Beltran, the league's vice president.

Board members say the homeless are on the Tully Road ballfields every day. There's trash, feces, and they said one man pulled his pants down to go to the bathroom during a game.

Another has set up a tent next to a dugout.

"There's some stuff that they've done before that's not appropriate with kids," Beltran said.

League president Delores Smith said they're constantly cleaning up and have reported a dozen incidents to police.

"Just walking around some of the fields, you can see some Of the drug use. Pipes," Smith said. "I came today to go into the snack shack, and someone was trying to pry it open."

The issue has caused some players to leave the league for other clubs. Player participation is down 50 percent over the past two years, Smith said.

"We've been here I think since '61, moved down from the fairgrounds to here," she said. "And I don't want to see that go away."

The city cleared out the brush between the fields, but people are still living there. San Jose staff said homeless encampments can be reported on the city's website.

Little League signups are in two months, and the Spartan community hopes the city will step up to protect its children.

"I know they're homeless. I know some don't have nowhere to go," Beltran said. "But maybe they can help us put them somewhere else."

City Councilman Tam Nguyen's office said it is working on a solution to the issue and looking forward to meeting with the league on Friday.

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