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100-Acre Wood clear-out meets resistance from community activists

People from Tucson organizations confronted city workers and police about their clear-out action in Tucson's biggest homeless encampment.
Posted: 1:24 PM, May 23, 2024
Updated: 2024-05-24 17:17:23-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The partial clear-out of Tucson’s biggest homeless encampment in Tucson started Thursday morning.

It’s happening so the military can test the groundwater for PFAS.

Community activists came out to the park to confront city workers and law enforcement about the action being taken.


“This is immoral, this is not right," Victoria Devasto said to a city employee on site.

Tucson police taped off Zone One of the 100-Acre Wood Bike Park and walked through the area to make sure it was cleared.

“We need more resources and shelter if we are going to come out and destroy people’s homes," Devasto said.

She and other activists say the 'Housing First' program offered by the city is not sufficient to help the homeless population.


"Oftentimes it's a business card with a phone number on it," she said. "We need to be focusing on real human life before a bike park in Tucson."

The city’s 'Housing First' outreach team was on site, as Andy Squire with the city says they have been offering resources to the people in Zone One and the park well ahead of the clear out.

“We’ve had 70 people accept services over the last year and a half. It’s not a high, high number but it’s better than none," Squire said.

Many just moved themselves to a different area of the park, pushing the problem into the future as the city plans to do another clear-out so they can renovate the bike park.

100 acre

“By the end of this year it will all have to be cleaned," he said.

The pending total clear-out has others not living in Zone One concerned.

“I’m stressed because I don’t really have anywhere to go," Cece Kon said.

Living with her dogs in the 100-Acre Wood, Kon says the city-provided housing isn’t a good option for her.


"It’s a struggle to get into a place." Kon said. "I’m not one who conforms to rules very joyfully, and I like living outside.”

The city says the rest of the clear-out won't happen until the fall, but the goal is to have everyone out by the end of the year.


A look at the 100-Acre Wood as city of Tucson begins clear-out

Adam Klepp is a reporter for KGUN 9. At his previous station in Yuma, Adam focused on a range of local issues including the border, water rights and healthcare. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan, and attended both Loyola University Chicago and Syracuse University. Share your story ideas and important issues with Adam by emailing or by connecting on Twitter.