Residents and supporters of San Jose Hope Village, a privately funded homeless tent encampment near Mineta San Jose International Airport, said they’ve been told the camp will be cleared out by the California Highway Patrol starting at 8 a.m. on Sept. 17.
Meanwhile, a CHP spokesman said on the night of Sept. 15, that there won’t be any removals at 8 a.m., but said the Hope Village can’t remain at its spot for long.
“We’ve always maintained this is not a permanent, viable location,” said CHP Officer Ross Lee. When asked whether the camp could be removed on September 10or later in the week, Lee said, “It’s really up in the air at this point.”
Hope Village organizers plan to hold a rally and press conference starting at 7:30 a.m. on Sept. 10, at 1010 Ruff Drive adjacent to the collection of tents that were set up Sept. 8.
Some people are willing to engage in “nonviolent civil disobedience” in the name of protecting Hope Village residents and their property, according to Peter Miron-Conk, one of a small group who planned and assembled the camp.
Hope Village had been open for only two days when on Sept. 10, its organizers and residents were given 72-hour notice by the CHP to clear out.
The CHP didn’t follow through on removing the camp, though, instead opting to let Hope Village’s organizers find another location.
That changed abruptly on the afternoon of Sept. 14, Miron-Conk said, when CHP officials told him the camp would be cleared out on the morning of Sept. 17.
“We’ve been asking for an extension to find a good location to move,” he said tonight. “Now, they’re not willing to modify their position.”
Miron-Conk said an array of San Jose officials and other electeds want the camp to survive, and he hopes that before 8 a.m. on Sept. 17, a resolution, at least a temporary one, will prevent the camp from being removed completely, and its residents’ possessions being put into storage.
“I’m real hopeful that we’ll hear something tonight,” he said.
Lee said the CHP—handling this case because the land where the tents are is owned by the state—doesn’t want to “criminalize homelessness.”
“We want to do what’s best for everyone involved,” Lee said.
By Sam Richards