Tucson closes homeless camp near D-M - Tucson News Now

Tucson closes homeless camp near D-M

The size of the camp located northeast of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base varies from 20 to 40 people depending on the season and who you ask. (Source: KOLD News 13) The size of the camp located northeast of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base varies from 20 to 40 people depending on the season and who you ask. (Source: KOLD News 13)
Anyone still on the property after Monday's eviction would be trespassing, according to a city spokeswoman. (Source: KOLD News 13) Anyone still on the property after Monday's eviction would be trespassing, according to a city spokeswoman. (Source: KOLD News 13)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Service providers, environmental teams and police officers showed up Monday morning, April 3, to help close a homeless camp in Tucson.

The size of the camp located northeast of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base between Golf Links Road and South Alvernon Way varies from 20 to 40 people depending on the season and who you ask.

"This is a large camp," said Cliff Wade with Old Pueblo Community Services. "We've been working on them, giving them resources at least once a week for the past two months."

Wade said service providers first showed up at the start of February to warn homeless folks that the camp would be closing and to help connect them with housing and jobs.

He said at least one homeless veteran from the camp was helped into a new place weeks ago. Other people are still waiting for approval, which longtime camper April Polanski said she expected would mean an extension of their eviction notice.

"The city is not giving us enough time for these resources to fully kick in," she said. "Several of us are just inches away from getting homes and we're still waiting for paperwork to go through."

Polansky, who has lived with her husband at the camp for roughly five years, said she's not sure where they will go. She said they feel like garbage.

"That's the way they are treating us," Polansky said. "It's the way we feel and that's not right."

Rebecca Banks moved into the camp just 48 hours before Old Pueblo Community Services showed up. She lost her job and her roommate then she couldn't make rent.

Banks said she was drawn to the camp because of its proximity to the Air Force base and the American flag was flying above one of the homeless tents.

She claimed that every agency she called told her there wasn't any money to help with her situation, so she moved to the desert. She hugged the team from Old Pueblo because her final housing inspection was moved up to Monday afternoon.

"They have been diligent in working with me to get back on my feet so I can get my health back in order, so I can get back to work and my heart goes out to these guys," Banks said.

The city initiated its Homeless Camp Protocol after a request from D-M, according to city spokeswoman Lane Mandle. The land is leased to the city by the Air Force.

She said a bike path will be built on the land. Anyone still on the property after Monday's eviction would be trespassing, according to Mandle.

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