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More homeless campers in El Paso County told they have to move - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

More homeless campers in El Paso County told they have to move

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EL PASO COUNTY -

Campers at major homeless camp on the southern edge of Colorado Springs have been given notice they can no longer stay. El Paso County Deputies with an assist from Colorado Springs Police offers went camp to camp Wednesday putting up official notices and telling anyone in the camp they have until Friday to get their stuff together and move on.

The camp is on private property behind Rocky Top Recycling. The owner was allowing the camping, but recently contacted the Sheriff’s Office asking for enforcement of no trespassing laws. "We think there's probably about 75 to 100 people in this camp. It's very large. It is probably the biggest camp I've ever seen. Probably the dirtiest camp I've ever seen," said Lieutenant Bill Huffor

Shasta Rogers is one of the campers. "I have applied for job after job after job and now I have no work experience for the last year." She has been forced from other illegal camps several times and came here because she heard it was okay. "We moved here and started to clean because we were told we could stay," Some camps are relatively tidy. Others are surrounded by piles of junk and trash. Rogers is frustrated but also admits other camps look like “hoarders.”

While law enforcement is handing out notices, there are also others from the community who have shown up to offer support to the campers. "Police have tagged everywhere, there’s literally nowhere for them to go," said Juliette Parker. She sometimes brings food and blankets to campers. She says there are not enough housing options for the homeless so they should be allowed to camp. "We as a community need to step up. We all need to realize the homeless are still people, we're all people."

Law enforcement agrees this issue needs more support. "Where they go next is where the community needs to engage," said Huffor. For now law enforcement's obligation is dealing with safety and health issues through enforcement. It means campers have to be gone by Friday.

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