Date
26 September 2017
Policemen inspect the homeless camp in Silicon Valley before clearing it. Residents have been given 72 hours from Thursday to vacate the area. Photo: ABC News
Policemen inspect the homeless camp in Silicon Valley before clearing it. Residents have been given 72 hours from Thursday to vacate the area. Photo: ABC News

Police close biggest US homeless camp

Police have begun clearing a homeless settlement in Silicon Valley believed to be the largest in the United States.

The encampment of tents, bunkers — even a tree-house — was once home to more than 200 people.

Residents of the camp in San Jose, California, known as “the Jungle”, were given 72 hours from Thursday to vacate the area, BBC News reported.

About 50 people are still living in the camp and social services are helping find alternative accommodation for them.

There have been no reports of violence or people refusing to leave.

Residents were told they would be prosecuted for trespassing if they did not vacate the camp.

City leaders said the camp’s closure was essential as it had become unsafe and unsanitary.

Silicon Valley is one of the wealthiest regions in the US, home to tech giants like Apple and Google.

But it also has some of the highest homelessness rates in the country, with an estimated 5,000 sleeping in the streets in San Jose.

The booming tech industry has pushed up housing costs, pricing people out of the market.

Site clearing is expected to be finished by Dec. 19.

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