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Leaving Camp Bravo, homeless campsite forced to vacate

Posted at 3:31 PM, Nov 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-19 11:14:19-05

A homeless camp was evicted near Santa Rita park Sunday. The privately-owned lot known as Camp Bravo, has become a refuge for the less fortunate over the past few years.

The camp's 72-hour notice to vacate had a deadline set for 4 p.m. today. But before the camp came to a close, residents, friends and family hosted a Thanksgiving meal - the last meal they would all have together on the campgrounds.

"It's upsetting. It's sad. Its upsetting," said Iris Iremonger, Camp Bravo Resident

Joshua Cunningham and Iris Iremonger were placed here in May, after being found living in a tunnel.

"Being out there is totally scary than being somewhere that we can all come together and eat together and be around the fire and just talking and having a little group," said Iris.

Since then, Cunningham and Iremonger became part of a community at Camp Bravo - learning new skills and interacting with people they now call family.


"It's different. When we came here they helped us, you know? And they were going to help us transition into housing. So that we can get our daughter back. Because when we were in the streets, she was pregnant. She as nine months pregnant, about to have our baby in two days." said Cunningham.

Creating a home inside Camp Bravo, Cunningham and Iremonger stayed in this van in the corner of the campsite.

"We kept happy really, for the most part," said Cunningham.

"This was our little zone," said Iremonger.

Now having to leave, the two are sad their time here has to end, but say aside from this bad news, their future is looking bright.

"We're going to miss it here. Its what got us up and going, instead of being down and out. It was a good start for us to get somewhere," said Iremonger.

"And I wanted to be able to come back and visit everything. Be able to say like, 'Look, baby, this where I learned how to take care of you.' But, its going to be gone," said Cunningham.

The couple, along with about 45 other Camp Bravo residents, will be set up in temporary housing and shelters for the time being. Addie Mendonca, who runs the camp, says the City of Tucson will take care of the tents and structures left behind.

"There pretty much going to stay on here. There's nothing we can do with them. They only gave us 72 hours, so we don't have enough time to pick up all the structures and go. We did enough time to get all the personal belongings for the people that lived here," said Mendonca.