San Jose on Thursday is shutting down a sprawling homeless encampment, known as the Jungle, that has become a major embarrassment to the city.
Hundreds of homeless people turned 68 acres along Coyote Creek into a shantytown with lean-tos and underground bunkers, even a treehouse. The Jungle had become a symbol of Silicon Valley's rampant homeless problem, and officials decided to close it down for good.
Among big cities in the U.S., San Jose and Santa Clara County have the largest percentage of unsheltered homeless. The majority of the about 7,600 homeless sleep under freeway embankments, in parks and on sidewalks.
"The city really made a good-faith effort" in relocating those living in the camp, said Claire Wagner of HomeFirst, which runs a San Jose homeless shelter.
Officials spent $4 million to relocate people and connect them with help. Nearly 150 had found housing, but over 50 had yet to find a place to live.
"It's much nicer than the dirt out there," he told the Los Angeles Times.