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Tucson's homeless take on the heat in the 100-Acre Wood

Dozens still live in the bike park near Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, even after a May clearout
WOOD
Posted at 3:32 PM, Jun 12, 2024

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The 100-Acre Wood Bike Park is still Tucson’s biggest homeless encampment, even after part of it was cleared out almost three weeks ago.

Caution tape is still up around 'Zone One' marking off people's stuff.

Some of the people living in the cleared-out area simply moved to another part of the park.

“I mean, it’s pretty rough, it’s not a walk in the park for sure," Chad Thibodaux said, who has been living in the 100-Acre Wood for two years.

tent

Thibodaux’s area includes a tent, water to stay hydrated, and a makeshift shower. Taking rides on his many motorized bikes helps him

“I get on the bike, take a little ride, get the wind in my face you know,” Thibodaux said.

His bikes also help him get supplies in town, and he helps others in the park fix up their bicycles to be motorized. Living in the 100-Acre Wood in the summer takes teamwork.

“It’s pretty rough out here last year; it’s probably going to be rough this year; it’s hot already,” Thibodaux said.

Cool,

Leading up to the May clear-out, some people did accept 'Housing First' help from the city.

“We’ve had over 70 people accept services over the last year and a half; it’s not a high number but better than none," Andy Squire said on May 23.

Those remaining are not taking help, setting up the potential for another controversial clear-out soon.

“So it’s just a matter of where everyone will end up, and how long we can stay there," Thibodaux said.

In May, the city said the plan was to have the 100-Acre Wood cleared out by the end of the year.

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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 adam.klepp@kgun9.com or by connecting on Twitter.