Second wave of Santa Cruz homeless camp closure enforced

SANTA CRUZ — The second wave of Santa Cruz’s phased closure of a longstanding homeless encampment moved forward Monday, affecting dozens of occupants caught between chain link fence borders.

Similar to the scene at last week’s initial “Zone 1” closure, personnel from the Santa Cruz Police Department and Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office were on hand as remaining occupants moved their possessions during the enforced clear-out at the San Lorenzo Park Benchlands. Of the 54 individuals counted last week in “Zone 2,” 15 accepted offers to move to the city’s Overlook tent encampment on leased land at the National Guard Armory in DeLaveaga Park, said Larry Imwalle, city homeless response manager. Others were seen carrying their possessions away from the city park or deeper into the encampment. Meanwhile, local homelessness rights activists gathered to watch and assist occupants throughout the day.

Occupants of the next slice of encampment scheduled for closure — “Zone 3” — will be notified Tuesday of the third round of camp clearout, set to take place Sept. 27, Imwalle said.

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