welcome to the jungle
It's called the Jungle, and at 68 acres, it is one of the biggest homeless encampments in the United States.
The Jungle is in San Jose, California, near the heart of the Silicon Valley. Hundreds of people once lived here in tents and underground bunkers, and after several attempts to clean up the massive amount of waste and rats, the city is finally shutting it down for good. An estimated 7,600 homeless people live in San Jose and Santa Clara County — more than in nearby San Francisco — with three-quarters sleeping outside. Officials say an influx of tech workers has made rents skyrocket, pushing out many longtime residents who go on to live in the Jungle or one of San Jose's 200 other outdoor encampments.
The city has already spent $4 million to help relocate the people who lived in the Jungle and help them get the services they need, the Los Angeles Times reports. One of those residents, Tiffany Curtis, will move into a studio or one-bedroom apartment paid for by the city as long as she works. "It's kind of a good thing they are closing this place down, because then people will have to find something to do," she said. "You can't just sit or lay or smoke anywhere. The world doesn't work like that." Watch differing local opinions below. --Catherine Garcia