Take A Look Inside The Secret ‘Homeless Caves’ Police And Volunteers Cleaned Out In California: REPORT


Julianna Frieman Contributor
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Police cleaned out secret “homeless caves” in California over the weekend, according to CBS 13 News.

The hidden caves in which homeless people dwelled along the Tuolumne River were cleaned out by the Modesto Police Department partnered with volunteers from Operation 9-2-99 and the Tuolumme River Trust, CBS 13 News reported.

“We had a hard time figuring out how they got so much stuff down in there, considering how hard it was to get it up the hill and out,” Chris Guptill, Operation 9-2-99 organizer, reportedly said.

Police and volunteers discovered eight caves, Guptill said, according to the outlet. A photo provided by Blanca Estephany of the Tuolemne River Trust to CBS 13 showed the inside of one cave, which contained a dirty table, two crates and several items of trash.

“You can see the hooks on the wall where they had bottles and stuff hanging down,” Tracy Rojas, a local who escorted CBS 13 reporters into one of the caves, stated, according to the outlet. “I think there needs to be more emphasis on the homeless. They are at the point where you can see they are desperate.”

Police informed those residing in the caves of the undertaking days prior with the help of its HEART team, park rangers, CHAT and abatement personnel, the outlet reported. Authorities reportedly provided support to the homeless as they adjusted to life outside of the caves. Fencing and caution tape was installed around the caves to prevent entry, according to the outlet. (RELATED: Dem Official Blames San Francisco Homelessness On ‘Capitalism’)

Neighbors near the river reportedly expressed concern that cleaning the caves did not solve the homeless problem. “It’s already been proven that people will dig these out, so I don’t think filling them in with any material would work,” Guptill stated, according to CBS 13.

California has the largest homeless population in the United States, which increased 5.8% in 2023, according to The San Francisco Standard. The U.S. Supreme Court will review whether homeless people have a constitutional right to camp on public property, which has been occurring in major cities, according to the Los Angeles Times.