Written by Robert J. Matthews
Over the weekend, Modesto, Calif., police found homeless persons in caverns along the Tuolumne River, some of which were supplied.
Modesto police and Operation 9-2-99 and Tuolumne River Trust volunteers cleared 7,600 pounds of trash from the 20-foot-deep region, accessible by homemade stairs dug into the hillside.
The trash filled two trucks and a trailer. CBS Sacramento reported recovering bedding, possessions, food, a makeshift mantel, drugs, and guns.
Operation 9-2-99 coordinator Chris Guptill told the local TV station, "We had a hard time figuring out how they got that much gear down in there, considering how hard it was to get it up the slope and out
The discovery comes amid California's expanding homelessness epidemic. Los Angeles has seen an 80% surge in homelessness since 2015.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recorded a 12% increase in homelessness in 2023, reaching its highest level.
Covid-19 pandemic assistance programs increased the population to 580,000 in 2020 and kept them constant.
Over half of the homeless lived in California, New York, Florida, and Washington. California has 28% of the homeless.