San Jose Asks Volunteers to Stay Away from Cleaning Up Homeless Encampment

City officials in San Jose are asking volunteers to stay away from plans to clean up what is believed to be one of the largest homeless encampments in the country.

Hundreds of San Jose's homeless residents are working to clean up the encampment, referred to as "The Jungle," which sits right behind the Happy Hollow Zoo.

The Jungle is home to roughly 200 people and has been at the center of community complaints for years.

San Jose's homelessness program sent about a dozen workers into The Jungle Friday to create case files for each person, with the goal of getting them housing.

City crews eventually plan to tear down the encampment, but have not announced a date to do so.

"The city is taking its time to make sure we have the best plan possible," said Ray Bramson, a coordinator for the city's homelessness program. "Our goal is to house as many homeless residents as we can."

Some residents of the encampment said they have received housing vouchers, but are still excited volunteers are coming to help them clean up their current home.

The Care Program, a homeless outreach group, was able to get a developer to provide dumpsters so the homeless and volunteers can clean up The Jungle over the weekend.

"Right now this is home, where we live," said a Jungle resident who went by "Giggles." "We don't want them to know we're dirty and lazy people -- cause we're not. We're just having problems."

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