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More than 900 Tucson homeless encampments reported last month

Hundred Acre Wood encampment
Posted at 2:40 PM, May 30, 2024

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — As he rode his motorcycle around the Hundred Acre Wood encampments, a man, who wishes to remain anonymous, rode through the vast expanse of dirt and trees to other encampments.

He’s lived at his encampment at the Hundred Acre Wood for about two years.

“It’s a blessing because there’s nowhere else for us that are homeless to be without really being in any trouble,” he said.

The City of Tucson said last month they got 912 reports of encampments. It was the most amount of reports they had gotten since February 2023 when data on their website begins.

The next highest month was in January 2024 with 907 reports and the least were reported in September of 2023 with 605 reports.

“Everybody’s safe with each other. It’s like our own community. It’s actually kind of cool,” the man living in the encampment said.

The City said TPD and their outreach team have confirmed over 1,900 cases of active encampments since February 2023, and they said most encampments have been cleaned or removed.

The man living there said crimes could go up if the 100 Acre Wood encampment is completely removed.

“Watch when they make everybody leave here. They’re going to have no choice but to break in houses, abandoned houses. There’s going to property crime,” he said.

The city said they go to encampments to offer services like a mobile shower and housing options. They said they’ve helped over 260 people find a place to live, mostly in city owned shelters. They said they also connect them with work opportunities for the day, where they receive cash

“The city helps us out a lot all the time. They always come. They bring us food, they bring us waters, sleeping bags. They come and offer us some housing,” the anonymous man said.

However, he’s hoping the City of Tucson can find a better approach to his encampment.

“Maybe figure out a way that they can police it better, I guess, so they’re not in so much of a worry about what’s going on down here,” he said.

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Andrew Christiansen is a reporter for KGUN 9. Before joining the team, Andrew reported in Corpus Christi, Texas for KRIS6 News, Action 10 News and guest reported in Spanish for Telemundo Corpus Christi. Share your story ideas with Andrew by emailing andrew.christiansen@kgun9.com or by connecting on Facebook, or Twitter.