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Homeless camp in Thousand Palms cleared out by county officials

With help from the Sheriff's Department, Riverside County Code Enforcement cleared a homeless camp Thursday morning in Thousand Palms.

The camp was near the Arco gas station on Varner Road and Monterey Avenue.

Valerie was one of the 15 people forced out of their homeless camp in thousand palms by the riverside county sheriffs department. She said they had very little notice.

"Basically, 24 hours, they're saying they gave us 72. But they really didn't," said Valerie.

She had been living at the camp for a few weeks. She said another person had lived there for seven years.

"These are good people down here. You know, we're labeled like bad people. But really, there's a very intelligent, beautiful people out there," said Valerie.

The Sherrif's Department said the property owner had requested to have the property vacated and that code enforcement and the Riverside County Sheriff's Homeless Outreach Team had been working with the homeless in the area all week.

"Not all homeless people are bad, but there are some that and some have stolen food and stuff. And so they've called to complain," said Valerie.

The department also said they have been offering assistance and resources to people who are homeless— adding that people at the homeless camp were told a week in advance that the property would be cleared Thursday. Another notice-to-vacate was given Wednesday, according to officials.

Valerie said officials told them their cars would be towed, and they needed to take their stuff or have it thrown away. She also said if they resisted, they were told they would be arrested. Those who lived at the camp said they were left wondering where to go next.

"They're cutting down all the trees and everything like that, so no homeless people-- where can they go?" asked Valerie.

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Marian Bouchot

Marian Bouchot is the weekend morning anchor and a reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. Learn more about Marian here.


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